Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Empty Nester/Retirement (from work) (09/10/09)
TITLE: Azubah's Mountain
By Karie McCaffity
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The voices drifting in from outside were full of gaiety and excitement. She checked her appearance and then waited just inside the door.
Caleb stepped into the shadowy room and with a broad smile pulled Azubah to his side. After all the years, this woman still made him proud. Holding her close, he thanked God for all the times she had stood beside him. He thought of the time when he and Joshua tried to convince the people to go up into the Land of Abraham. No one stood with him besides Joshua and Azubah. If God Himself had not intervened, the people would have stoned him and Joshua. The Glory had appeared and the people had withdrawn, but it had forever changed their relations with the other tribesmen. Azubah’s name meant desertion, yet she alone remained faithful to him. What anguish, the friends they had known distanced themselves, and now were gone. Their children were readying to go where their parents could have gone forty years ago.
Azubah watched the light drain from his eyes. How long would he grieve? How long would he wonder if he could have convinced them with better petitions? Today should be a day of celebration, not chasing old sorrows.
A light tug on his beard brought Caleb back from his troubled reflections.
“The roast lamb is ready; the food prepared. I …” Caleb silenced her with a quick kiss.
“I have brought news.”
Her heart froze in her chest. The last time he had uttered those words with such intensity; their hopes had been blown away by the wind of rebellion. They had wasted years wandering instead of taking their place in God’s land.
Caleb raised her face to look at him. His eyes, the color of almonds, were ablaze with restless enthusiasm. She felt the warmth of the fire burning in their depths rekindle her hope.
He had received a good portion in the land.
Her heart soared. Caleb was over 80 and she was not far behind. They had served God and the community faithfully. Was it to much to ask for a time of peace?
“You know Moses received a word from the Lord, it has been promised that He will give to me and my sons the land we set our feet upon. We will be victorious in the land; He is giving it into our hand.”
She remembered well the blessing from Moses.
“I have asked for the hill country of the Anakim as my portion. Azubah, you know God is with us. We will go up against them in victory.”
For a time, Azubah had been crushed. Her dreams had included a home in the valley with fields, vineyards and stables for animals. It looked like Caleb would still be on the conquest. It did suit him more than being a farmer, yet her heart yearned for safety and stillness.
As she surveyed the home around her with the benefit of hindsight, she knew Caleb had made the right choice for their fullness of years. Caleb had finally settled into the quiet life she had dreamed of years ago. Azubah enjoyed the trips to Jerusalem and to see family, but time in the valley made her long for home. The view from her mountain was beautiful.
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