The landscape darkened rapidly, with the amber-tinted river slipping into blackness. The distant hills revealed scattering gleams of campfires. They left the area with Shara leading the way. As they moved along, Ron thought of and old hymn that came to mind from his younger days as a kid in church, back in Elizabethton, Tennessee. He began humming softly, the song, Rock of Ages, cleft for me.
Shara stopped to listen. “That is nice. What is the song?”
“Rock of Ages.”
“It is a popular song in America?”
“Not really. Only in church, when we sing it on Sundays. It is an old song.”
“What are the words?”
“I only remember, Rock of Ages, cleft for me. Let me hide myself in Thee.”
“You said from church. The rock is Jesus?”
“Yes, Jesus. That is what the church calls him today. The real name is actually ‘Yahushua,’ which means ‘God-saves,’ in Hebrew.”
“You believe that he is still alive?”
“Yes. Yes I do. He is alive. He is the living water. God raised him from the dead. We believe in the resurrection.” Ron took a sip from his CamelBak. “And I try to live like he is alive in me.”
Shara thought for a moment and then walked up to Ron. Standing in front of him, she stared into his eyes and held out her hand. “I’d like some, too, please.”
“Yes, of course. Water. You have the living water, yes?” Ron held the nozzle up to her lips so she could drink. She lifted her right hand to hold the nozzle with him, placing it directly on top of his. With her left hand, she held on to his extended wrist. As she drank the water, her head tilted downwards, only her eyes looked up into his eyes as she stared into them until she finished drinking. “Thank you. Very refreshing.”
Ron still held the nozzle in his hand as she turned around and began walking quickly away. “Wait for me!” he called as he quickly regained his composure, placing the nozzle haphazardly back onto the pack and swiftly retrieving his M4.