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All I Have in Hand

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Sweet young David sits quietly in a church pew. He has been here before, yes you could say he has sat in this pew more than a time or two. Not quite 7, David listens to the preacher talking about grace and forgiveness and how to get to heaven. It's a message that is not new to the young boys ears, for when asked he knows to answer, "it is the Lord that I fear." For that is where wisdom begins, David gleams from scriptures. He believes Jesus is loving with white skin, at least that what he sees in pictures.

The sermon breaks and it's time for testimony. A time to gleam from wisdom, but for young David it only prolongs the ceremony. Sweet old Beatrice who must be pushing 93. She has wealth and good health, why she is as sturdy as an old tree. As she shares a touching story that melts the hearts of all, David plays with a dangling thread off his sweater while staring at the wall. Suddenly Beatrice ends with a saying that made David's ear hairs stand. "Through these 90 some years of walking with the Lord, I discovered that He really is all I have in hand." The crowd erupted with agreeing applause, some even moved to soul touching tears. But David's brain was stuck with questions well beyond his years.

"She is rich, she drives a nice car, even has grandkids and great grandkids", David thinks. "She has more than just Jesus, why she has all these blessings, quite the opposite of a jinx." This wouldn't be the last time young David would hear Beatrice's words. He would hear it his whole youth from other church goers, like a synchronized tune from a group of songbirds. It would be a wonderment as he grew, but nonetheless he became a strong christian adult, this everyone knew.

He got accolades in high school, then a college diploma on the wall. He even married a woman who was the prettiest girl David ever saw. But it didn't stop there. Along with being struck by cupid's love arrow, he got a secure job, a house on the hill, why even got his dream car, a black chromed Camaro. He never wavered from church, for his faithfulness to Jesus still stood. But it only takes a spark to ignite dry, unkempt firewood.

It was a bright sunny Saturday and David's wife was away. Out of town for work, David found himself at home alone for the day. Day turned to night and it was suddenly time for bed. The perfect time for the uninvited voices to creep into one's head. David was human and therefore had sins for he struggled from time to time. He had had weak moments in the past and has fallen with no reason or rhyme. But he would remember Pastor's preaching on forgiveness and grace, and he would quickly say a prayer to put his soul back in the right place.

But tonight is different. Tonight, he is alone. No wife, not even a pet, to comfort his sinful clone. David felt temptation begin to creep in, but he knows what is right and started to resist. He took pride in himself, maybe too much, like looking at the devil mockingly while shaking a trenchant fist. He went to his balmy bed, but sleep escaped his eyes. Wide awake on the sack he heard voices begin with fervent cries. Two ladies shouting his name, turning his brain to a pool where thoughts continually swim in this bottomless mindgame.

Lady Wisdom and Lady Folly, both beckoning for his attention. One offering life and one ending with great annihilation. The longer David can't sleep, the more temptation grows. Lady Wisdom is the correct healthy choice, this he knows. But Lady Folly is an attractive love letter, hanging on like the loose thread from his childhood church sweater.

PM turns to AM and the clocks ticks to 1 and then 2! He left the door cracked for Lady Folly to sneak in, and the temptation to sin just grew and grew and grew! He knows the danger that sin would bring yet because of it's short term pleasures he still contemplates letting it become king. Lady Wisdom beseeches him as he sinks in deep. He tries and he tries, but in the end he finds no sleep. His elegant house can not cradle him, nor his padded bank account bail him out. Why even at 2am, a call to his wife, family, or friends would surely end in a voicemail reroute.

He lays there frustrated, feeling defeated and weak. When suddenly, sweet Beatrice's words begin to speak. "I discovered that Jesus is all I have in hand." What took years of confusement, that night alone in bed, David finally began to understand.

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