1st Aug 2012
You should finding new methods
‘Amen,’ said his mother, praise the Lord!’
John moved up to the short, stone step, smiling a little, looking down on them. His motherpassed him, and started into the house.
‘You better come on upstairs,’ she said, still smiling, ‘and take off them wet clothes. Don’twant you catching cold.’
And her smile remained unreadable; he could not tell what it hid. And to escape her eyes,he kissed her, saying; ‘Yes, Mama. I’m coming.’
She stood behind him, in the doorway, waiting.
‘Praise the Lord, Deacon,’ Elisha said. ‘See you at the morning service, Lord willing.’
‘Amen,’ said his father, ‘praise the Lord.’ He started up the stone steps, staring at John,who blocked the way. ‘Go on upstairs, boy,’ he said, ‘like your mother told you.’
John looked at his father and moved from his path, stepping down into the street again. Heput his hand on Elisha’s arm, feeling himself trembling, and his father at his back.
‘Elisha,’ he said, ‘no matter what happens to me, where I go, what folks say about me, nomatter what anybody says, you remember—please remember—I was saved. I was there.’
Elisha grinned, and looked up at his father.
‘He come through,’ cried Elisha, ‘didn’t he, Deacon Grimes? The Lord done laid him out,and turned him around and wrote his new name down in glory. Bless our God!’
And he kissed John on the forehead, a holy kiss.
‘Run on, little brother,’ Elisha said. ‘Don’t you get weary. God won’t forget you. Youwon’t forget.’
The he turned away, down the long avenue, home. John stood still, watching him walkaway. The sun had come full awake. It was waking the streets, and the houses, and crying at the windows. It fell over Elisha like a golden robe, and struck John’s forehead, where Elisha hadkissed him, like a seal ineffaceable for ever.
And he felt his father behind him. And he felt the March wind rise, striking through hisdamp clothes, against his salty body. He turned to face his father—he found himself smiling, buthis father did not smile.
They looked at each other a moment. His mother stood in the doorway, in the long shadowsof the hall.
‘I’m ready,’ John said, ‘I’m coming. I’m on my way.’
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