"Come on!" He slips in the mud but pushes himself back up, dirt dribbling down his cheeks, his muddy newsboys cap on crookedly. He's grinning like he's seen the sun beyond the clouds.
I trod on after him, each step up the hill sending aching thrills through my legs. I look up at him, eyes empty and mouth slightly open. The rain washes over my tired face.
"Come on!" He cries again, propelling himself up the hill with an urgency I can't seem to muster. "Can't you remember what we're on our way to?"
I try, and remembering somehow gets me to place my right foot in front of my left, my left foot in front of my right, through the sticking, sloughing mud, and I follow after him. It's temporary, I remind myself. We're making progress. Today will be better than yesterday, better than the day before. We're making it.
I look back, over my shoulder, to the other one. His long hair is soaked with rain, hanging in his face, and his tired eyes stare down into the muddy hillside. He doesn't want to go on. He's forgotten the goal, as I do so often. He's lost sight of where we're going.
Hallelujah, we are on our way
Hallelujah, we are on our way to God
From Egypt lately come
Where death and darkness reign to seek our new
Our better home where we our rest shall gain
There sin and sorrow cease and every conflict’s o’er
There we shall dwell in endless peace and never hunger more
Jerusalem, our happy home
Would God I were in Thee
Would God my woes were at an end
Thy joy that I might see
We soon shall join the throng
Their pleasures we shall share
And sing the everlasting song
With all the ransomed there
There in celestial strains enraptured myriads sing
There love in every bosom reigns for God Himself is King