"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no-"
The preacher stopped and looked to an opening in the crowd, everyone's attention set on a young woman with short, silvery hair. Maybe it was the message being preached, or the fact I was looking down to see her; but, in that moment, Aether appeared so small... so like a child.
"Who created God?" she asked the preacher.
"Is she a first-timer, too?" Tom asked me.
I let out a groan. People everywhere commented to each other about the unusual - and impolite - visitor. Pastor Amit raised his arms to settle the crowd and addressed Aether.
"God is the Alpha and the Omega, the creator of everything. He existed before the beginning of time and will exist after the end of it. He was not himself created."
"That's not fair! I want to know!"
There was another round of commotion. Aether chose to address the crowd. "People of heaven, what I seek is what you seek: I want to know the truth. I want to know my purpose. Maybe my path was different from yours, but doesn't your book quote God saying 'Come now, let us reason together.' Why should a creator hide himself and cover everything up in parables and symbolism? The disciples didn't understand when Jesus spoke then. Maybe that's because we're all children, and those who regard themselves as such are being the most honest with themselves, and are therefore the most capable of growth. Perhaps that is an important aspect of humanity. But, I don't-"
She stopped and looked back to Pastor Amit. "I'm sorry, I'm ruining your service."
At that, she vanished. Everyone in the crowd burst into conversation. The pastor stood wondering if he should continue or not.