“I have to leave again.” Abe said.
“But you just arrived. Where do you have to go now?” I asked.
“I have purposes you don’t know about. But I’m with you even when it seems like I’m not. I’ve also been here a while actually. I was with Sam. I was with her when you found her. We spent a good amount of time together.”
“Yet you couldn’t save her…” I mumbled.
“David, are you blaming me for what happened to Sam?”
“No. That was her choice. I blame myself for not stopping her. But you could have saved her. You could have done something.”
“So you do blame me.”
“You do all these magical things I never ask you to do but this one thing you know I really really want you couldn’t do.”
“Well, if you could, then you didn’t. It doesn’t matter either way.”
“I don’t remember you asking.”
Abe was right. I never actually asked him for anything regarding Sam other than when I asked if she could come along on this quest. Yet my pride needed someone to blame.
“But you knew Abe. You knew. You knew even before I did how I felt about her. You knew.”
“Yes, I did know.”
“And you didn’t do anything!”
“David…” Abe gently said my name. “I did know. I do know. Hasn’t it crossed your mind that maybe my not doing anything was my way of achieving a purpose you are unable to comprehend? If you say that I know, that maybe I know something, see something, understand something your mind cannot embrace. Maybe I achieved through my seeming absence a grand purpose for you and for Sam.”
“Why would you want her dead?” I frowned at Abe. “Why would you want me grieving? What good purpose can come out of that?”
“Here” Abe said. “Take this.” Handing me an acorn. “Do you know what’s inside this seed?”
“A tree, a shade, a tree house, maybe a real house, or a chair, or a bed, or the beams of a fence. Maybe even something for you. You see, in every seed is something greater, many things greater even, every life is a seed. And what must a seed do to unlock the greatness within it? It must be planted. It must die. In the same way, every life must die. Yes, Sam is dead, yet she is alive, and more glorious than ever.”
“So what’s the use in staying alive then when the glory is in death?”
“There are many kinds of death. Someday you’ll enjoy final death too. For now, you must die a most important death. You must die to yourself. Only then will your life’s acorn become something grand.
I know you don’t fully understand. But you will.
I must go now and you must continue on this path. Stay on this straight path, it will lead you to a town, a once great town, the greatest as far as they’re concerned. When you find yourself going blind, place both hands on your heart and see. You’ll hear my voice and I’ll guide you. I’ll show you where to go.”
“I still don’t understand. Why don’t you just come with me? Or I can go with you to wherever you’re headed.”
“David, David, David… If you knew what I knew you would go where I tell you and not go where I don’t direct. You’re a smart kid – but not that smart.
But I do like it that you care enough to ask.”
“Sometimes I forget why I even listen to you. Sometimes you make absolutely no sense.”
Abe laughed, completely amused at my statement, not at all offended.
“Stay on the straight path and make your way to the town, David. When you find yourself going blind, remember what I told you.”
“Yes, yes, put my hands on my heart and see.”
“Very good!” Abe exclaimed and picked me up in a tight bear hug. I can’t describe how reassuring Abe’s bear hugs are. It makes me feel so tiny yet so protected – at least in that moment.
After dropping me down, I asked him, “Abe, I still don’t get why didn’t do anything for Sam. You changed the subject.”
“No I didn’t. I answered you.”
“Yes. You just need to learn how to receive it.”
“How can I receive an answer I haven’t heard???”
“That’s why you haven’t received it. You’re always expecting a ‘word’, a set of instructions. But, again, someday you will understand. Goodbye David. See you in a bit!”
With that Abe left me to my confused thoughts. He never walked away, he sort of always just vanished, not so much like a magician in a cloud of smoke, nor a man breaking into dots telelporting. It was instantaneous. As if he was never there.
But he was.
Then I understood and received his reply.
I didn’t understand not because I couldn’t hear. Life deepest messages are not heard but felt. He did not answer in words but sent me a touch.
I walked on.