Betad by: BJ Kira & Chris
Warnings: MAJOR smarm- and the boys are waaaay out of character warning!
Note: While inspired by actual events, the events and persons in this story are fictitious.
^ denotes something being read silently.
A BESTOWED GIFT
It was a nice autumn day in Cascade. While Jim took
care of some paperwork downtown, Blair had decided to stay home. He had a lot of
backlogged e-mail that he needed to read, anyway.
He started reading, and after discarding most of the messages as spam, he had some personal correspondence to attend to. One of them had the subject "Killed for her Faith," and Blair decided to read it right away.
When Jim came home a couple of hours later, he heard
quiet sobs from Blairs room. "Chief? Whats going on?" 'There was no
reply from behind the French doors. Jim waited a few seconds longer before he peeked
inside. "You wanna talk about it?"
Blair nodded, and between sobs he said, "Yeah, but not right now, OK?"
"Whenever you feel like talking, you know Ill be here." Jim was concerned about his friend, but knew that when Blair felt ready, he would come and tell him what was bothering him.
Half an hour later, Blair emerged from his room. There
was no need for Sentinel vision in order to see that he had been crying, eyes red and
puffy. Jim held up the teapot. "Want some?" Blair nodded and sat down by the
"Whats wrong, Blair? Did something happen while I was at work?"
Blair shook his head. "No, not really. Its this," he said and handed Jim a printout of an e-mail. Jim read it silently.
We are writing to inform you of the recent martyrdom of Ms. Nousháfarin Yáshár, a 23-yearold Persian woman who taught Baháí Sunday school classes. It is our hope that her sacrifice of the most precious gift of all life itself - will enable you who enjoy religious freedom to take care of your faith and express it in a way that will gladden the hearts of other people.^
"Did you know her?" Jim asked.
Blair shook his head. "No. But I know of many people like her, who are killed because their religious views doesnt "suit" those who run the country." He paused for a second. "Its really ironic, you know. Her first name means joy, and her last name means one who lives forever ." His body shuddered as he tried to suppress a sob.
Jim put a hand on his friends shoulder. "Just let it out, Chief. Its OK."
Blair shook his head again. "No, its not OK! No one should be killed for their religious views, Jim!"
"I agree with you, but ."
"I wasnt finished!" He pulled away from Jims firm grip on his shoulder. "I mean, here I am, sitting in America home of the free enjoying religious freedom. And what do I do with that freedom? Nothing! Nada! Zilch! My mom raised me somewhat Jewish, and I do qualify as a cultural Jew. But I havent really thought about it since my Bar Mitzvah. When I began studying at Rainier, Christianity intrigued me, but I never looked into it deep enough, you know. And then, as I got started with Anthropology, there were so many religions and gods that I got really confused. Do I make any sense?"
"Perfect sense, Chief. I mean, I was raised in a pretty secularized home, religion was not anything that was discussed in the home of William Ellison, you know. Then, in the army and on the force, Ive seen so many terrible things that have made me seriously question the existence of a God. But with this Sentinel thing, its like everythings fallen into place somehow. You know, I *did* see the Eye of God, and I *have* experienced at least one miracle in my life. Well, two actually."
Blair gave a puzzled look. "Two?" He knew one of them; it was by the fountain. But the other one?
Jim smiled. "The other one? You, Chief."
These words made Blair blush. "Me? Come on ."
Jim let out a deep sigh. "Im serious! You came right when I needed you, after Id prayed to God to please help me."
It was not common that Jim talked about things like this, and it made Blair feel weird. He tried to lighten up their conversation a little, "You havent watched Touched by an Angel again, have you?"
"No. Im just telling you the truth. Youre my best friend, and youve made me a whole different person from whom I used to be. I didnt fancy that other guy much, so Im glad you came."
Blair smiled. "So am I, Jim. I just hope you dont mind sharing the loft with a cultural Jew that hasnt found his religious path yet."
Reflecting his friends smile, Jim poked him on the chest. "And I just hope YOU dont mind living with a somewhat stoic ex-Army Ranger thats beginning to soften up."
That said, Blair lit a candle and put on some instrumental music. He then directed Jim to the couch, went to the bookshelf and took out a worn and torn prayer book. He looked through the index and flipped to the page he had been looking for. Then, he too sat down and began reading aloud:
"O my God!
O Thou forgiver of sins, bestower of gifts, dispeller of afflictions!
Verily, I beseech Thee to forgive the sins of such as have abandoned the physical garment and have ascended to the spiritual world.
O my Lord! Purify them from trespasses, dispel their sorrows, and change their darkness into light.
Cause them to enter the garden of happiness, cleanse them with the most pure water, and grant them to behold Thy splendors on the loftiest mount.
After a moment of silence, Jim spoke softly. "You know Chief, I think you HAVE found your religious path."
"Oh, really? Would you mind enlightening me, then?"
For more information on the Bahá'í Faith, please go here.. Feedback is greatly appreciated. /Ceci