Gnarled fingers gripped the smooth wood with strength uncommon to old men. Each step, supported by the stout oak shaft, brought him closer to the summit.
His final climb.
His final appointment.
His final task.
Long grey hair, blowing in the wind breaking over the summit, twisted and twirled as if in a dance. Eyes, full of wisdom, compassion, love, and pain, kept vigil with one goal. The peak.
Finally the crest was upon him. He hoisted the staff supporting the last step of his ascent.
The Jordan River lay before him like a dull brown fat snake sunning itself on a fine spring day. Colorful banners and tents dotted the barren plain, much like flowers brightening a desert after an unexpected shower.
Slowly, holding the wooden staff with both hands, the old man spun around, like a planet circling the sun. He gazed north, east, south, and west. As far as his eyes could see was the Promise.
Reluctantly averting his eyes from the vista, he found a rock to sit on that still afforded a view. He laid the walking stick across his lap and began to stroke the smooth wood thoughtfully.
“What shall become of you, my old friend,” tears formed at the corner of his eyes as he rubbed a particular depression scarring wood. “If only....”
His eyes lifted from the indent and once more took comfort in the endless horizon. He must remember the Promise.
“What a gift you were,” he talked to his walking stick as if it were a much loved child, “I’ll never forget the day I found you. I was wandering in the desert. Lost. Alone. My expected future erased because of one rash act.....”
Once more his misty eyes fixed on the Jordan letting regret drift away like a leaf floating down the great river.
“There you were,” he continued, “sitting by that well. Discarded. Abandoned. Forgotten. A kindred spirit.” As he chuckled the tears disappeared. “We sure gave those shepherds a beating!”
His face softened into a deep smile. Zipporah...how he missed her....
“But that was only the beginning of our adventures wasn’t it, old friend?” He raised the stick high over his head twirling it in the twilight hour.
So many miracles...
So many miles...
So much death...
Gently he lay it back on his lap. The visible scar stared accusingly at him.
Suddenly he felt The Presence. He closed his eyes and let the warmth wrap around him. “Friend,” the familiar voice spoke, “you’ve come.”
Like water trickling down a stream, it was music to the old man’s ears. “Yes, I’ve come.” He opened his eyes and let them fall once more on to the oak shaft. The scar still stared but accusation was silenced in the Presence.
“Should I have left this for Joshua?”
“No, he has his own path to walk.”
“Shall I leave it?”
In answer a balmy breeze washed over the old man. A cloud enshrouded him. He let it consume him, body and soul. With eyes closed, he basked in the warmth of the Presence. He drank deeply of the electrified air until suddenly it was still.
When he opened his eyes the midday sun shone brightly. Lush greenery surrounded him. Looking down he noticed the traveler’s clothes were gone. He was dressed in princely robes. No more was a worn wooden staff in his hands but a golden scepter.
Moses was home.
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