a story

“Make it a story of great distances, and starlight.”*

And it was a great distance, from Ur to Canaan, for the man who stood in the starlight and tried to balance mental equations: the LORD’s covenant promise on the one side; his beautiful, barren wife on the other.  Was it some cruel riddle and mockery: would his descendants be uncountable as the stars, not for their multitude, but because there would be none to count?  How long is too long, when waiting for the fulfillment of a promise which seems more and more unlikely, when the fire and blood of the covenant are shrinking to dream-distance?

But then the stars set on that morning; the men walked into camp to renew the impossible promise; the woman laughed behind the tent flap: “How can this be?”

The unlikely baby named “Laughter,” raised tenderly, and laid on an altar on a mountain.  Even when he walked down the mountain still holding his living son’s hand, he couldn’t see it all.  Didn’t know of the multitude which would travel great distances behind a pillar of fire, or of the other beloved Son, led to sacrifice when God would provide no other Lamb — the purchase of life for those who number as the stars.

“Tell me story of deep delight.”*

*Robert Penn Warren, “Tell Me a Story”
The substance of this story has been adapted from Genesis 15-22.

©2011 by Stacy Nott

5 thoughts on “a story

    • betweenbluerocks says:

      Well, actually, when I once tried to write a poem beginning with Warren’s line, I included those travelers … but they didn’t make it into the prose expansion. Maybe I need to expand the expansion.

  1. Eastman says:

    how Chesterton-y of you. Perhaps just in the fact that worded thusly, I feel I am approaching Abram for the first time, as an utterly original man with quite the incredible story (I read the preface and first chapter to The Everlasting Man yesterday…so perhaps I am just in the mood for such moments)

  2. Pingback: Between Blue Rocks

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