“Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you” said Abraham.
“For what purpose does he leave them here?” thought Isaac. “Why does my father emit such slow, cumbersome speak, as if weighted by the slight pull of sorrow? I know not, God can only know. Wait.. Maybe–”
His thought was interrupted by Abraham, who placed chopped wooden sticks across Isaac’s shoulders, horizontally. The weight of the sticks dug into Isaac’s shoulders so he brought his arms up and rested his hands along the wood on his shoulders. Abraham picked up the fire and knife and begun to walk. Isaac’s thought returned to him:
“Maybe I am to be sacrificed. There is no lamb for the burnt-offering, and my father acts strangely….. No. He would not do such a thing, but I will inquire as to the lamb to be sure.”
“Father..” exclaimed Isaac.
“Here I am, my son” responded Abraham.
Isaac hesitated for a moment, unsure if he should ask. He feared the truth; that his father had brought him into this world and he alone will bring him out. Begotten, not made, father to son. Dust to dust. But the question exploded from him; his body’s uncontrollable protest to the thought of its ultimate deliverance: death.
“The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?” asked Isaac.
Isaac was overtaken by fear. Time seemed to slow as Abraham formed his words. Isaac felt the the dusty air cake his nostrils and make them dry as the earth on which he stood. His sweat slowed as it rolled down his face, forming a long serpentine salt trail like The Nile on his cheek. Beads of sweat clung to the edge of his upper lip, unable to fall. But then a breeze quickly came over the face of the earth, time began to move, and Isaac’s sweat fell onto the ground.
A voice awoke Isaac and pulled him from the twisting vines of time:
“God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.”
“I was right” thought Isaac.
Isaac’s mind became ignorant of life’s color and blind of hope. What seemed as much a march of despair for Isaac, forced the hand of Abraham, and battled his thoughts to resist God’s command.
“My father is bound by God to do this and it is as much an end to him as it is to me.. if God spoke to me and I knew He was real, how then could I resist His command?” Isaac concluded.
Ahead, Abraham turned back around and continued walking. He appeared weighted, though he carried only fire and a knife. In truth he yearned for the dust, to dissolve into the sands of the earth; to shuffle off this mortal coil. Isaac turned towards the top of the mountain and began to climb, the very pyre on which he would be burned digging into his shoulders.
Their mouths dry with the taste of sorrow, Abraham and Isaac prepared the offering. No words were spoken between the two, but father and son they prepared it. Abraham moved towards his son, the knife already soaked in the blood of misery, coated with the water of lost memories and extracted soul; as Abraham approached his son, a breeze moved over the tear soaked blade and wiped the knife clean of its gloom.
Abraham and Isaac looked up.