„So, there was a girl.
What I’ve guessed, and what the history books imply, is that she was unlucky enough to have been sired by a cruel man. He beat both wife and daughter and abused them in other ways. Bright Itempas is called, among other things, the god of justice. Perhaps that was why He responded when she came into His temple, her heart full of unchildlike rage.
“I want him to die,” she said (or so I imagine). “Please Great Lord, make him die.”
You know the truth now about Itempas. He is a god of warmth and light, which we think of as pleasant, gentle things. I once thought of Him that way, too. But warmth uncooled burns; light undimmed can hurt even my blind eyes. I should have realized. We should all have realized. He was never what we wanted Him to be.
So when the girl begged the Bright Lord to murder her father, He said, “Kill him yourself.” And He gifted her with a knife perfectly suited to her small, weak child’s hands.
She took the knife home and used it that very night. The next day, she came back to the Bright Lord, her hands and soul stained red, happy for the first time in her short life. “I will love you forever,” she declared. And He, for a rare once, found Himself impressed by mortal will.
Or so I imagine.
The child was mad, of course. Later events proved this. But it makes sense to me that this madness, not mere religious devotion, would appeal most to the Bright Lord. Her love was unconditional, her purpose undiluted by such paltry considerations as conscience or doubt. It seems like Him, I think, to value that kind of purity of purpose—even though, like warmth and light, too much love is never a good thing.“
— N. K. Jemisin
Chapter 11 “Possession” (watercolor) (pp. 202-203)