Thursday, April 8, 2010

Eyes of the Beholder

He gazed at the distant shadow of a figure, and with that one glimpse, threw off the distance in haste.  He would have been a match for chariots today!  He was less than a mile from the promised land: one hundred thirty-four pounds of flesh.... .a limp, heaving mass of leanness; like a candle, deprived of its last flame and left as only a pile of melted wax. 

 The dust flew wildly into the air behind the quickening pace of the old man.  He overcame the staggering shadow with an abundance of fatherly joy.  “Ah! Ah!” he praised as his heavy breathing gave him no room for greater words.   He embraced odorous skeletal weakness with a covenantal hold and a plethora of fast and faintly spoken Jewish prayers.  Elderly fingers ran themselves through knotted, dark brown hair, fingering strand by strand and counting. …”One, two, three” in a whisper.  Tears formed salty puddles upon gaunt shoulders as the old man buried his face into his son’s sunken frame.  Bodies were shaking; one with sobs of regret and the other with sobs of ecstasy.  They withered into mutual embrace on bended knee.

The old man grabbed the sullen face before him and coddled it between his palms.  He searched the features of his son with memories.  He remembered the eyes to be as ripe black olives kissed by reflections of the noonday sun.  He recalled the nose to be regal and held high.  The mouth and jaw were broad and laughing.  The brow deep with heroic thoughts.  The Life had been drawn out of every bone and pore in his son’s body, and yet the eyes of the old man danced across the present portrait in celebration of the life that had returned.  “My beloved, beloved son,” he whispered so close that the forlorn younger man could feel the wind of the words touch his face and go down into his very soul.

The years of separation…. .the physical, mental, emotional and moral dissipation were drown eternally and forever washed away.  After all, to all consciousness, his son had been dead; no one had known of his welfare.  And now, to this father’s relief, this beloved son had returned to the land of their Living.  A beloved son was all this old man’s eyes chose to behold.

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