Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FAITH (strong, confident belief in God) (02/26/15)
TITLE: The test
By Dave Walker
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But his eyes fascinated me most. Although toffee brown, they shone with an inner light-- as if he saw something in his mind and projected that vision through them. Even when he looked at me, he seemed to be looking both at me and to something far beyond.
Papa was a wanderer. He went where his fancy took him. Or rather, he said he went where God told him to go, although God didn't seem to take him to any place in particular. We just wandered around from here to there, staying for a while then moving on.
The older I grew, the more I respected my eccentric old man. He strode among his herd, with his clothes flapping about him, thrusting his staff deep into the sand, as if to impale some furtive creature lying beneath the surface. Yet his appearance belied an astuteness that, over the years, earned him enormous wealth.
Above all, though, he was a visionary. He genuinely heard God and lived with purpose. Though all we did was wander through the country, he only moved when he was sure he heard from God, and he seemed sure there was a far higher purpose in his doing so. Often, of a night, I'd catch him gazing upward at the Milky Way and the teeming pinpricks of light sprinkled so liberally in the blackness. And he'd mutter "So many. So many." Though I didn't know what he meant, I knew he saw something that I couldn't -- something in his mind that he projected through those glowing eyes into the heavens.
At other times, he'd sit me down to talk. His voice was deep and gruff, like a man used to giving orders, but as he spoke, was modulated by a gentleness that betrayed a deep love of his subject.
"You c'n always trust God, m'boy. No matter how things seem, you c'n always trust 'im. Sometimes, yer haf t' trust 'im beyond yer years here on earth." His eyes looked at me and beyond. "Yeah, sometimes beyond yer years, but yer c'n always trust 'im."
I loved Papa. As he trusted God, I grew to trust Him too, little thinking what a test I would have of my trust of them both.
It happened one day when he said, in a voice more gruff than usual, "Come, boy. God's told me somethin' and we gotta obey."
I was a young man -- in my twenties -- but he still called me "boy".
Taking just one servant, a pile of wood and a firebrand we set off. He was much quieter than usual and talked to himself -- or to God. Every now and again, he'd turn to me, his fiery eyes now watered over, and repeat what he'd said so often. "No matter how things seem, you c'n always trust 'im." Then, sighing, "Sometimes beyond yer years, but you c'n always trust 'im."
It was when we got to the foot of the mountain, that I grasped what he was saying. I realised, with foreboding, his agenda. We were going to make a sacrifice, but there was no animal. I knew, from his words and from the way he looked at me, what God had told him to do.
This was my trial, as much as his. I was stronger than my ancient father. I could overpower him and run.
Or trust Papa as I always had done, and trust God as I'd often said I would.
"Sometimes yer haf t' trust him beyond yer years on earth." Could I do that? Could I die trusting him? Or should I run away?
I chose to stay.
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