2 Kings 2:9–12
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.’ Elisha said, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’ He responded, ‘You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.’ As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, ‘Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’ But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
Reflection by Janet Derby
We have all suffered the loss of a loved one whether a relative, friend, or mentor, so we can certainly identify with the grief that Elisha feels when Elijah is gone. Yet this passage helps us recognize that though we miss those who are gone, we are left with their spirit in us. This manifests itself in a variety of ways, whether it is a remembrance that comes to mind or a recognition of a family trait in another, or a sense of someone’s presence. Two of my assigned days for devotion writing (at my request) are the 13th and the 17th of each month. They are touchstones for me to Joshua, who was born on the 17th of February and died on the 13th of April. Josh was the most faithful reader of the Bible in our family, so contemplating the assigned Scripture on those days keeps his spirit in me.
Spirit of God, Thank you for all the loved ones whose spirit remains within us. Help us to share that spirit of love with all those we encounter. Amen.