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See Esau Run

See Esau Run

Genesis 33:4

But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.

The prose of this little sentence is so bursting with energy, so sweeping with a rush of redemptive motion, that it’s as if the human writer is an eye-witness reporter, frantically documenting each movement as the scene unfolds. Esau runs to meet his brother. Of course he does; he’s waited twenty years for this moment, dreamed of it ever since that day Jacob went AWOL. Esau embraces his brother. Hold on—where’s the punch in the gut or the mocking laugh or the torrent of curses?! Esau falls on his brother’s neck. Aha! Now comes the old-fashioned, Wild West sort of retribution. Esau kisses his brother. Wait—what?! But this must be a Judas-type kiss, right?! Esau’s just signaling to his four hundred warrior-friends that he’s got the guy; right? But why aren’t they budging? Why have their swords been turned to plowshares? And why—what’s that sound?—it can’t be—it shouldn’t be—it is!

Friend, I find so much poignancy in the fact that this biblical sentence ends in rapturous weeping. Because in moments as wondrous as these, tears flow better than words.

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