IT WAS A HOT DAY as the prophet Elisha made his way up to Bethel where he had business to attend to. Pausing near a camping ground for a bit of shade, he was mopping his bald scalp with a corner of his prayer shawl when a Boy Scout troop broke ranks and surrounded him. They threw bottle caps at him, and they made rude gestures. They pulled their mouths out as wide as they could with their thumbs and at the same time pulled their lower lids down with their index fingers till you could see the wet, pink membrane inside. It was an unnerving spectacle.

"Skinhead" and "Chrome-dome" and "Curly" they called at him, till finally the old man had enough. He made a few passes at them, muttered a few words, and within seconds a couple of she-bears lumbered out from the trees behind the picnic tables and mauled some of the slower members of the troop rather badly.

It is not the most edifying story in the Old Testament, but there are perhaps some lessons to be learned from it even so. The Lord does not call everyone to be Mister Rogers, for instance, and there is no need to try making a fool out of a prophet, because sooner or later he will probably make one out of himself. It is not the most edifying story about Elisha either, but it is perhaps one of the more endearing.

2 Kings 2:23—25

-Originally published in Peculiar Treasures and later in Beyond Words  

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