The boy galloped down the hill with the hem of his robe billowing about his sandaled feet, small puffs of fine dirt stirring in his wake. “Come, Ari,” he cried, glancing back over his shoulder. “You must see. It happened just ahead.”
A slightly older, slightly taller boy descended the hill at more sedate pace.
“Slow down, Boaz,” he complained. “I have a sticker in my sandal.”
Boaz ran on, unheeding.
“It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen, Ari,” he called back over his shoulder. “Too bad you missed it. You should have been tending to the goats with me as Father told you to, not napping under that sycamore tree.”
“Speaking of Father and goats,” said Ari, “we should not be running off and leaving them unattended. Who knows what trouble they’ll get into?”
“Father will understand when we tell him about what happened,” said Boaz.
He slowed, searching the ground. “They passed by right about here,” he muttered.
Ari came up beside him.
“What are you looking for?”
“There!” Boaz pointed ahead to where two sets of sandal prints indented the sandy earth, marching side by side into the distance.
He ran ahead and followed the prints as they wound through the brush and short grasses, careful to run to the side and not disturb the tracks.
“It was just past here, I think,” he called.
“I still think you must be seeing things,” muttered Ari.
“Here, here!” Boaz stopped and jabbed his finger excitedly at the ground. “Do you see this?”
“What is it?”
Ari looked down. Where Boaz pointed, one set of prints abruptly stopped. The other set continued on.
“This is where it happened!” said Boaz.
“It’s impossible,” said Ari. “No one just vanishes into the air.”
“He didn’t vanish into the air,” said Boaz with exaggerated patience. “I told you. He was carried away into the sky.”
“It’s impossible, Boaz,” insisted Ari. “Look, this man was probably injured, and his friend is carrying him.”
“Then why aren’t the friend’s tracks sinking deeper into the sand?” asked Boaz. “That would surely add a lot of weight to each step.”
Ari only shrugged. He plopped on the ground, pulled off his sandal and rubbed his foot. “And where are the tracks from the fiery chariot?” he asked.
Boaz clenched his fists and set his jaw. “I know what I saw. I’ll prove it to you.”
Boaz ran a short distance further to a higher point of land. “See,” he called. “There’s his friend. Going back alone.”
Ari reluctantly rose to his feet and came to join Boaz, who pointed to a dark-robed figure walking slowly away from them toward the Jordan River in the distance.
Boaz cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted with every ounce of breath in his lungs, “Excuse me, Mr. Prophet.”
The distant figure turned and lifted a hand to shade his eyes against the afternoon sun.
Boaz waved his arms and jumped up and down. “Excuse me,” he called again, “but could you please tell my brother all about the fiery horses and chariot and your friend riding up to heaven in a whirlwind?”
2 Kings 2:11,12
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