Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.~Acts 2:21 KJV
“Mr. Roland, are you ready for your walk?” He patted his pocket, nodding, and the walk began. He had a pocket full of promises.
Anna assisted Roland as he sauntered to the mailbox. This was his favorite activity because, along the way, he’d read from the cards he’d stuffed in his pockets. Roland’s eyesight wasn’t what it used to be, so Anna read most of them to him. When he wanted to re-read the promise on another day, he’d hold out his hand, and she’d give it to him to stuff into the opposite pocket. The remainder he’d return to mason jars he kept on bookshelves. He called them his promise jars, and his bookshelves had more jars than books.
Shortly into their walk, Roland leaned on his cane, “Here,” he said, handing a paper to Anna, “read this one.”
“Let’s wait,” Anna said, “you’re getting tired.”
Roland’s eyes welled with tears.
“There, there, now,” Anna said, dabbing his face, “I’ll read it to you, but take my arm, okay?” She steadied him and read, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 1942.”
“I understand the first part, but what does the date have to do with the Bible verse? I’m guessing there’s a story that goes with it. Let’s get you inside. Then you can tell me all about it.”
Once inside, Roland told Anna about his salvation experience in 1942. He had turned his life over to the Lord while serving in the Armed Forces during World War II. For eight years, until he came home, he had written Bible verses while in the barracks. The promises he treasured most were those his fiancée mailed to him. Daily, he would slip a verse into the pocket of his uniform. When danger loomed and emotions welled, he’d touch his pocket and recharge his soul by remembering the verse. He didn’t know what the outcome of the war would be, but he knew his eternal soul was secure.
“Anna,” Roland said, “those verses gave me courage. When I finally came home and married my sweetheart, we wrote Bible promises together.”
“So, you started way back in ’42? No wonder you have such a collection.”
Anna handed a photo from the fireplace mantle to Roland. He put the rose-carved frame to his nose. She knew he was remembering his wedding day and his love’s perfume.
“Ellie, my darling,” Roland said, “I’ve kept my pockets full of promises just like I told you I would when you were going to be with Jesus. How is He today? You see Him clearer than I do, but I’ll be with you soon enough. These bones can feel it.”
Anna dabbed Roland’s tears, but they kept coming.
“Remember the promise we read yesterday? I want to read it again.”
Anna fumbled, searching, but she couldn’t find the verse. Finally, as tear after tear slipped from Roland’s eyes, she slipped a blank note card into his outstretched hand.
Roland held the blank card, reciting the verse from memory, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I also am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. Follow after charity. Did I read it right, Miss Anna?”
“Yes sir,” Anna said, not wanting to reveal she’d handed Roland blank paper, “Every word is correct.”
“That’s from 1 Corinthians 13:12-14:1a.”
Roland looked up, his brown eyes hazed over with cataracts, gazing at Anna through dimmed lenses, searching, as if he was trying to read her soul.
“What are you thinking about?” Anna said.
“Sometimes,” Roland said, “When we’re reading my promises, it’s like I can see Jesus’ face, and Ellie right beside Him. And sometimes, I think you see Him too.”
“Well then, let’s read some more,” Anna said, holding her hand out.
Roland’s pocket full of Bible promises had become a bridge for two friends. These mere slips of paper, Anna knew, were memories she’d cherish for her lifetime. She’d once read the promises to pass the time, but gradually she’d become saved by meditating on them, and now, she could indeed glimpse Jesus’ face as they read.
How can you show love to the eldest member of your family?
Heavenly Father, help me to share love with my family. Help these times to include sharing promises from Your Word. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2019: Pocket Full of Promises: Diane Virginia: All Rights Reserved