Tuesday, August 11, 2020

My Elijah



I never thought of you as a priest before today. My priest. My Elijah.

There are others, of course, several of them. Two Davids and a Norwegian. But never you.

The living with you was clouded by passion, I think. Love and living every day hid that part of you just enough to recede into the background until you were gone. The man of high blood and towering mind was all I could see until, well, until it wasn’t and only the supernatural remained—that, and the sudden understanding today that the priest had been there all along.

Elijah made me see. The prophet, the leader, the seer, the sublimely wise beloved. And the parting.

Come with me here and there, he said. To Jericho, to Bethel, to the Jordan. I am leaving. What do you want of me?

A double portion of your spirit.

Elisha didn’t ask for Elijah’s body to remain, but his spirit, and twice what he once had, enough to last a long time, enough for the rest of his life.

This is what you’ve given me. You and the God who put it in you in the first place. By His grace and by your love, your spirit remains in me, and a double portion made available through freedom from life’s repetition, necessity, and error. Your going away made you more available, more wise, more kind.

So you stand by the Jordan, raise your arms, and the waters part. I watch you walk across and vanish from sight by flaming chariot. There is nothing else now to do but pick up the cloak that lies empty on the bank of the river.

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