posted on Aug, 2 2014 @ 01:46 PM
The Lost Latchet
His attention was diverted for an instant as a bright light momentarily blinded him and with squinting shielded eyes he limped over to the light.
There was a small shrub and in the midst of that shrub was where the light came. Looking all about he spotted the cause of the light and fell to his
knees to inspect the object which he had hoped was a shekel or perhaps a gold piece. No, it was not a shekel nor was it a gold piece. It was a brass
latchet. Knowing that its mate was worth a good shekel from the cobbler, he started to search all about in hope of finding the other latchet when a
strong voice cried out to him.
He quickly put the latchet in his sleeve with a clenched fist and tried to turn sharply to face the voice but he was old and slow to respond. The
Roman guard repeated the curse to the old man and put his foot on his shoulder giving him a shove to the ground and asking him what he was about. The
old man replied with a weak voice that he was looking for fallen olives but not caring a whit for a reply the guard repeated his cursing and struck
the beggar with the back of his hand telling him to be gone before a worse thing comes upon him.
As the guard slowly walked on down the street the old man felt a hand upon his arm urging him to stand up. He stood with the help of a young woman
who handed him a small cake and a cup of wine. The old man looked at her with tears in his eyes. It has been a long time since anyone had shown this
type of kindness to him and with a shaking old hand he clasped her hand and blessed her for the kindness which she had shown him. She then helped him
to share a bit of shade from the olive tree which was beside the road.
As the beggar ate the cake and drank the wine, he listened to her soothing voice as she asked him if he knew where he was. He then told her what his
intent was and opening his hand he showed her the latchet. The woman put her hand to her mouth and urged him to go no further. This was the hill of
death and he should not venture any further. Nothing good was here. Only death and misery. With that warning said, she squeezed his hand and
started to walk down the street and away from the hill.
As she would walk away from the old man, she would stop, turn around and look at the old fellow in hope that he would follow her example. Being
somewhat refreshed the beggar slowly got to his feet and stood looking up the hill and then down the hill. His mind made up, he started the long trek
up the hill. Why he had made this decision is not known. Maybe he knew that he must make this final journey in his life. No one truly knows the
mind set of the aged or those who are about to pass from this old world and maybe he himself did not really know just why he made this choice.
It was near to the tenth hour of the day and the old man knew that the day was fast closing about him. He had never risked such an adventure of this
sort in his long life knowing that the night could bring death very quickly. He would not have the comfort of the fire or company of his comrades and
if the wild animals did not do him in the cold was a dreaded enemy of a man without so much as a cloak or blanket.
Upwards he struggled with each step he took but the years had taken their toll from this frail old man and he knew that even if he could reach the top
of this hill the cold night would probably be his death. But now was no time to turn back because he had reached the point of no return and knowing
all of this seemed as though all of life was nothing but a dream. Thirst was overwhelming by now but the sun had begun to withdraw its torturing heat
and it would quickly become cold and the thirst soon forgotten.
The old warrior stumbled and fell to his crippled knee and wincing in pain he laid upon his side in anguish. The challenge was still in his heart as
he slowly got to his feet and started once again to climb this wretched hill. As he saw darkness envelope the land and the coolness of the faint
breeze set in for the evening, he could feel less resistance in his climbing and knew that his journey was about ended. The rays of the western sun
painted a most beautiful picture as he stood upon the hill looking out over the city.
But this beauty was short lived as he looked up toward the very knoll of the plateau. The first impression was shock as he saw the three crosses still
wedged into their sockets and looming there in the last rays of the day. Strewn about were remnants of cloth and bent nails and wooden shaped spikes
and some pieces of hewn trees. Walking up to the crosses he could see the brown dried stains of blood from the wounds of those who had met their
deaths and then something caught his eyes as he studied all of this.
Limping over to the object of curiosity, he bent down and looked closely at the shoe. Yes it was a torn sandal but what caught his attention was that
this torn shoe had the other matching latchet attached by a single cord which survived this terrible ordeal. Amazing he thought as he opened his
clenched hand to reveal its mate in a bloody palm. Yes it was this man’s latchet which he had climbed up this hill to find but why he had done all
of this he could not understand.
Night was now upon the land and the sudden coldness chilled the bones of anyone who ventured out into the darkness. The woman who had befriended the
old man and had given him bread and wine was concerned with his well being and had kept a watchful eye upon his progress up that hill as she had
returned to her modest home. She waited anxiously for her husband’s return from work and as he entered the house she clung to him and weeping she
told him what had happened to the old fellow. The husband, being a good man, took a blanket and wrapped two cakes of bread and a skin of wine along
with a portion of goat’s cheese and hurriedly left the house towards the hill of death. He knew that wild beasts would end the old man’s life if
the cold night did not finish him first.
As he approached the top of the hill he heard moaning and crying and fearing that wild animals had gotten to the old fellow, he rushed over to the
direction of the crying and was startled to see a shadowed figure bending upon the ground at the foot of the center cross. He knew it was the old man
and rushed over to his side. Unfolding the blanket he gently put the covering over that old frail body and sat down beside him. The old man looked
up with tears streaming down his cheeks and with a sobbing cry he held out his clenched hand. The hand was filled with blood as it revealed the lost
latchet and as the old fellow cried out to the cross he wailed words of remorse and sorrow. Yesh u ah he cried. Yesh u ah --- and then there was
nothing but silence.
Now some have said that the cold winter night had killed the old man while others have speculated that his time was at hand and that he would have
crossed over regardless of the conditions set before him. The woman, who had given the beggar the cake and wine that fateful day, ended her story
with tears in her eyes and asked me, “How could he have known that his name was Yesh u ah?” I had no answer.