With God


People kept coming to the countless-ages-wise gray-haired elder, one after another. They silently bowed their heads as a sign of reverence before him, in order to hear that long-awaited, sacred wish, “Go with God!”

An hour passed after an hour, time shrank and stretched straight into infinity, the procession of people who desired to receive his parting blessing still did not want to come to an end, but the elder seemed to feel no fatigue. He tenderly embraced each of those who approached, and then gazed intently into the eyes of the person who came to visit him, as if checking whether he had the strength of spirit to carry his own cross – traveling by the path intended for him – but regardless of what he saw there, in the bright peaks and dark depths of every human soul that trusted him, the elder’s answer was always the same, “Go with God!”

Someone, having received his blessing, was smiling happily – and another seemed to be slightly sad. Some people’s eyes were clearing up, while others had tears in theirs. Someone was joyfully jumping out of the hall as if he had just gained wings – however, there were also those who barely dragged their feet, as if their invisible cross was already pressing on their backs in advance. But there were none who would not bow down before him.

The elder knew beforehand what would happen to each of those who came to bow to him – who would return to his hall reborn, and who would throw their saving crosses halfway in the roadside mud or smear themselves with dirt. Who would reach the end of the journey, having honorably overcome all the hardships, and who would one day turn back. Who in the end would be grateful to him, and who would blaspheme for the severity of his own path. But the answer and blessing of the elder nevertheless stayed always the same, “Go with God!”

…Hour followed hour, day came after day, century after century. People kept coming to their Maker for a blessing, in order to go on a new life’s journey. Eternity was ready to wait for their arrival.