Ervinai's Song - One -- An Unexpected Awakening


Evelyn sat alone in her living room playing the end credits to the "Return of the King" and listening to Renee Fleming sing "Into the West". Her mind wandered from the picture created by the low alto's voice to wonder idly what Middle Earth would have been up to if Tolkien had written an epilogue. Laughing at her foolish thoughts she decided it was time to crash. As she made sure that the house was locked up for the night she mentally ran over her schedule for the next day. She and Callie were singing a duet in church tomorrow, she was looking forward to it. After church she and her mother were driving into town for groceries, then her older brother had asked her to help clean out his car...Lord, I give these plans to You, You know what is going to happen tomorrow, whereas I am the one who's just along for the ride. Please take care of tomorrow for me. I pray that whatever happens will bring You glory and honor and that it will serve to draw more people into a right relationship with You.

Evelyn continued praying sporadically as she basked in a hot shower then climbed between the smoothly cool cotton sheets of her tall, four-poster bed, ready for sleep. She hummed quietly to herself, making sure the windows beside her bed were closed tight to keep out the night breeze, then pulled the beckoning covers up to her chin. Murmuring a quiet thanksgiving for only One to hear, she prayed for a goodnight's sleep and peaceful dreams. That night she dreamt she was sitting at the feet of Jesus.

Upon waking to the twittering of strange birds and excessive amounts of sunlight in her bedroom, Evelyn wondered if this was another one of her mother's many imaginative ways of coaxing her to get up earlier. Smiling, she mumbled a sleepy, "Nice try, Mom," then rolled over and proceeded to doze comfortably off again. However, after a few minutes she rubbed her eyes and wondered irritatedly what was wrong with them. They weren't staying closed like they should when one was trying to sleep. Instead everything around her was slowly coming into focus, as if she'd been sleeping with them open. Startled, and thinking she must have retired later than she thought, Evelyn gave up the losing battle of getting any more sleep and shifted her position so she was lying on her backside. "Good morning, Lord." She could feel His presence as He smiled down on her. Oh, life was good these days. She was so blessed. Her heart swelled as she fought a strong urge to cry.

Suddenly, as her eyes were roaming over the ceiling, she realized that she was not in her bedroom. Darn, I must have walked in my sleep again. Groaning agitatedly, she swung her legs out of bed and landed in a tipsy, upright position. As her head cleared she looked around at her surroundings and tried to puzzle them out. Evelyn hoped with growing fervor that she hadn't ended up in any of the neighbors' homes on accident. The ceiling seemed to be like a mat of silver tree branches woven together with golden leaves slipping through here and there. Yet at the same time it looked just like any ordinary ceiling. Thoroughly confused, she shook herself until the last shreds of drowsiness fled, yet the hallucination did not change. Curiosity drew her to a sheer curtain hanging across the length of one side of the room, dividing bedroom from balcony. Evelyn was shocked when she pulled aside the curtain at how thick it was, while at the same time incredibly sheer to the eye. She was also surprised by the great arms of cool air that reached into the room. The thought of the curtain keeping out the chill made her shiver even more than the crisp air creeping through her nightclothes. Confused, she rubbed the material between pensive fingers a moment more before stepping past it onto the balcony and letting the drape drop with a quiet "swish" behind her.

A wide eyed Evelyn gaped at the vision before her. Tall, smooth, and further around in girth than any tree she had seen before, hundreds of silver-white trees rose up all around her, spreading wide their thick branches laden with golden leaves high above her head. Stepping with vigilance toward the delicately carved railing she rested her small hands on the cool metal then gasped and gripped the balustrade with white knuckles as her eyes fell downward and discovered how far away the forest floor lay. Oh Lord! Her mind cried out in distress, where am I? As she gazed with mixed wonder and terror at her surroundings it dawned on her that winding around every few trees' boles, ascending upward in spiral motion, was a staircase covered in intricately constructed gothic arches. Spaced at intervals along the stairways were platforms with walls, roofs, and balconies that reminded her of the flets * described by Tolkien in Lothló rien *. Goodness, I must be dreaming.

Astonished, and more than a little confused, Evelyn turned slowly away from the sight before her wide brown eyes and entered the bedchamber again, trying not to panic. Clasping her trembling hands together tightly to make them still she prayed while rocking back and forth on her heels. Oh Jesus, I give this situation to You. Only You know where I am. Please be with me and give me peace. I know that You are in control. Her frightened spirit calmed, but her heart was still afraid. She opened her eyes and spied a thick curtain hanging across a doorway in the wall opposite the balcony. Making a beeline for it, Evelyn blindly hoped on the other side she would wake up and be in her own bedroom again.

As she pushed aside the curtain serving for a door, she took a deep breath, as if reminding herself that God was still in control, and cautiously stepped out on faith. Immediately after lifting the curtain to pass it by she found herself face-to-face with an imposing male. Her eyes took in his appearance in less than a second. His flawlessly smooth, lightly tanned skin, the skilled craftsmanship reflected in his peaked ears, and his long, dark hair made her jaw drop. She could feel the heat start creeping up her neck and spreading its chief attribute, a rosy flush, across her cheeks. His hand was raised as if preparing to pull aside her bedroom doorway's drapes but when he saw her his arm dropped back to his side and an amused grin split his face in two. Oh, Lord Jesus, who is this? I hope he doesn't see how much I'm blushing! Goodness, why didn't I just stay in the bedroom?

"You're up late, sister." The handsome stranger before her spoke drolly as he turned away.

Sister? The only brother I have has acne and dark brown hair like mine...

"Grandmother asked to see you as soon as you were decent."

Grandmother? Decent? Evelyn's eyes quickly dropped downward to glance at herself and she discovered she was wearing naught more than a light nightshift with the delicate embroidering of small, pink flower buds from shoulder to toe. Blushing hotly yet again, Evelyn gave an unintelligible moan, then turned and fled back into the bedchamber. Leaning against the partition she worked to slow her labored breathing. Oh sweet Jesus, what was that all about? He called me his sister! And I don't think I've ever been more embarrassed in my life! Heat poured into her face again as she thought of the situation just endured. Well, I guess I'll be worrying about what I wear around the house from now on, she thought wryly to herself. Now lets see if I can find something else to wear around here, shall we?

As her eyes scanned the simply furnished room they lighted upon an intricately engraved chest near the foot of the bed. Bingo! Sinking quickly to her knees directly in front of the trunk Evelyn tugged open the lid, then felt her lungs go limp as she saw its contents. Wide eyed, she ran her fingers gently over the fine linen dresses adorned with thin, gauze-like fabric, lace, embroidery, and small beads; she was awed. Lifting out gorgeous gown after gown with their flowing sleeves, trailing skirts, narrow waist-lines, and differing bodices, Evelyn fretted, surely these aren't meant for everyday use, Lord? I can't wear these, they're too beautiful.

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin...If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?" *

Yes, Lord. Evelyn meekly swallowed the windless sails of her argument and selected a pale lavender dress. The long, white, lacey sleeves allowed her olive complexion to peek through and a diaphanous, flowing, sleeveless, purple-tinted outer garment added flair. Tying all together with a white, lace sash and pulling back her heavy, dark curls she decided that she was now "decent". Evelyn cautiously tiptoed to the bedroom doorway and put her ear up close to the rippling fabric of the curtain in an attempt to learn whether she was alone or not. Letting go of the painful breath she didn't realize she was holding, she sent up a quick prayer of thanks. However, upon pulling aside the drapery, she immediately encountered the handsome stranger once again. He stood with his back to her, hands raking through his shoulder blade-length hair. Hearing footsteps, he spun to face her. Her shock of finding him still there must have shown on her face. Well, I did think I was alone, I can hardly be blamed for that. Has he been standing there the whole time?

As if in answer to her unspoken question he replied gallingly, "No, I've not been standing here waiting for you, but maybe if I had been you'd have taken less time. Grandmother told me to accompany you and I'm late for the marchwarden's gathering."

Was he angry at her? She apologized demurely and then followed, head down, as he led the way to the doorway on the opposite side of the flet. Descending the stair she noticed, with a start, all the massive tree trunks rising up around her seemed to grow immensely taller with each step taken. Evelyn admired the tiny golden leaves of the tall trees, which she could barely make out as individuals, far above her head. If she hadn't seen them closer up, while in her bedchamber, she would have thought that there was just one solid, gold and silver roof to the whole wood.

Evelyn's "brother" escorted her throughout the wood's many paths among the feet of the giant trees leading the way to their grandmother, whoever she was. Evelyn followed obediently. Oh Jesus, I don't know what's going on , but You do. Please, Lord, I pray Thy will be done, not mine. I give You the glory, Father, and take none for myself... So intent was she on praying that when her escort stopped at the base of the largest tree yet, Evelyn all but plowed him over from behind. Blushing furiously and uttering a strangled apology to his back she realized crossly that she did not even know his name.

"His name is Runando." Evelyn gawked in surprise as she heard a distinctly familiar, smoothly female voice speaking. Casting a quick glance at her guide she wondered if he heard the voice, but if he had, he gave no sign of enlightening her. He stepped aside, revealing the base of a magnificently wrought stair leading up and disappearing around the trunk of the vast, fluted mallorn. She gave her escort a slight perusal out of the corner of a thickly lashed eye while stepping past him onto the stair. Evelyn began climbing the stairs, expecting to feel her muscles begin to burn. Yet, to her surprise, it seemed that every time that she took a step the staircase shifted around and up the tree, carrying her much further than one step really should. Much like an escalator, she thought to herself. Father God, I love You so much. You are my King and it is my delight to serve You. Evelyn smiled and sighed determinedly as she resigned herself to do His will.

Her heart slowly relaxed, like a giant spring being gradually released, and before she knew it a song was rousing in her soul. Forgetting where she was and that she was in the company of others Evelyn slipped into the presence of only One and started to hum, then sing the words quietly of a favorite praise song:

Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name when I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in
Still I will say:

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name when the sun's shining down on me
When the world's `all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in
Still I will say:

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord Blessed be Your name *


Glossary:
* flets --the traditional tree-platforms of Ló rien which the
elves call talans
* Lothló rien --a name for the land to the east of the Misty
Mountains
* Matthew 6:28, 30 (NIV Version)
* Song name: "Blessed Be Your Name"
Artist: Tree63
Album: The Answer to the Question

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