Redeeming My Characters

BooksLike children, I’m not supposed to have a favorite character. But Frank Post (along with the Talbot sisters) stole my heart. Frank is a blend of so many men I knew growing up. Men who were tough, flawed, opinionated, and most of all tender-hearted beneath those gruff exteriors. There were a few times I even thought about stopping by for a visit on trips home. (Oh right, my characters aren’t REAL!)

This week, I’m sharing Frank’s thoughts about doubting faith.

FRANK POST — THE DOUBTING ONE
Miracle in a Dry Season & Until the Harvest

I think I would’ve liked going fishing with the disciples. Especially if that Thomas feller was along. I’m a lot like Thomas—don’t hardly believe a thing until I can get my fingers wrapped around it and see it with my own eyes.

And there’s been a time or two in my life when I felt left out—like Thomas must have when all the rest of his friends were talking about seeing Jesus back from the dead—alive and kicking. There it is, written in John, chapter twenty. “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said unto them, ‘Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.’”

It’s hard, when everyone else sees a rainbow while you’ve got our head down, chopping firewood and digging ditches. For a lot of years, I just kept my head down. I figured if I wasn’t meant to see what other folks did, I’d just stop looking for it. Jesus probably didn’t want the likes of me anyway.

Thing is though, when enough people tell you how pretty the rainbow is, you get a hankering to see it for yourself. Except I didn’t want to admit the truth of that, so I put conditions on my belief. Like Thomas, who wouldn’t believe until he put his hand in the wound in Jesus’ side.

That’s when I heard about a woman in town—she had a child and no husband, so I knew she’d made mistakes, too. And even though the gossips talked about her behind her back, she stepped up and fed anyone who was hungry that summer the drought was so bad.

I ate her food—best I ever had. And for just a minute there, I caught a glimpse of that rainbow. Eating a plain bowl of beans, I could see how love was supposed to look. I could smell it and taste it and it hit me like it must have when Thomas finally saw Jesus and knew he really was God.

“After eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace be unto you.’ Then saith he to Thomas, ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.’ And Thomas answered and said unto him, ‘My Lord and my God.’”

I’m glad at least one of the disciples was as hard-headed as me. And although I might not have seen Jesus in the flesh, I surely have seen Him—still see Him—in the way poor, sinful folks reach out to give one another a hand. So if you’ve got your head down like I did for so long, you might try looking up and around. Jesus, he’ll sneak up on you, if you let him.

Categories: Appalachian, Memories, Writing

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