Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Parent (11/16/06)
TITLE: Forgotten Father
By william price
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“Come, Son. The journey is long.”
The father watched his mate kiss their boy before she nudged him to go. The parents’ eyes met. In a silent plea the mother asked, ‘Are you sure?' The father bravely nodded his head.
“Where are we going so early, Dad?” The son was bouncing up and down.
“On a trip. Did you tell your mother you loved her?”
“Oh yes, and she told me how much she loved me.”
The father looked back at the mother before he turned to leave. He could feel the bleating of her heart. He lipped, “I love you” and turned to his son and smiled. “Are you ready?”
The two traveled on the hills above a rutted road below them. The father didn’t know exactly where they were going, only the region. He gazed at his offspring prancing out front. The male child was perfect in everyway. Not like his father. He had a limp. The father wished his son had a limp, or any defect. But, he was spotless.
On the second day of the journey, the son looked down on the road.
“Hey, Dad, there are humans walking below. Isn’t that Abraham and Isaac?”
“Yes it is.”
The father looked up to the hills before them and tried to blink away his tears. He then felt the warm presence he had experienced the night before they left.
“Just try to stay out of sight, Son.”
“Why? Are you afraid they might see us and get hungry?”
“No, Son. I doubt Abraham has much of an appetite. Just stay over here and walk with me.”
On the third day of the journey, the father saw in the distance the place they were going. He looked and noticed Abraham loading kindling wood on his son’s back. He watched him walk slowly behind Isaac carrying a knife and the fire.
“Where are we, Dad?”
“Near Moriah. Let’s go over there, out of sight.”
“It looks like they are going to sacrifice, Dad. But they don’t have an animal. How’s that going to happen?”
“God will provide, Son. God will provide.”
The two rams stood on a nearby hill and watched Abraham set up the sacrifice site.
“Dad, Abraham is tying his own son on the wooden altar. That’s not supposed to happen. Can I sneak over and take a closer look? This is very weird.”
The father couldn’t speak. His heart ached. He wanted to cry out so loud the hills would shake. But, he knew he had to remain quiet and hidden. He again felt the warm presence of the One who visited him the night before the journey began. He gazed again at his only son.
“I love you.”
“I know you do, Dad. But, can I get a closer look? Please. I‘ll be careful.”
“Son, you are the best thing that ever happened to me and your mother. We really, really love you.”
“I know that. I just want to go down by those thickets. They won’t even notice.”
“Give me a kiss and you can go.”
The father turned around and closed his eyes.
He heard a loud familiar voice from the nearby hill.
“Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy. Now I know you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
The father could hear the rustle of the thickets and the obedient bleat of his son. He was about to collapse when he felt the arms of the One he knew as his creator around his body. It seemed, to the ram, they trembled as one.
When he was able, the ram turned and watched Isaac laughing and jumping as he ran back down the hill. He was surprised to see Abraham was crying. Then the old ram realized that Abraham had spotted him. Their eyes met. Abraham quickly dropped his bloodied knife. Not a noise was made or a muscle moved between the two fathers. Only Heaven knew the communication of their silent stare. Abraham humbly smiled. The old ram nodded his head, turned and limped away.
Footnote: Based on the accounts from Genesis Chapter 22.
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