First Night: The Conflict Between Hope and Cynicism
Story by Dr. Lee Brazil
Foreword and Epilogue by:
Written by Ron Breazeale, Ph.D.
All Rights Reserved
Home of Jefferson Davis Powell and his wife and three children
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA
December 20, 2019, 10:15 A.M.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Jeff had been out of work for nine months. His unemployment benefits had run out. His home was facing foreclosure. His wife Judy worked, but only part time.
Jeff was looking at his computer. He was holding something in his hand he had printed off the computer. He stood up.
“Judy, I’ve got some good news.”
His wife of ten years was slow to respond. She was sitting on the couch folding laundry. Jeff had had good news before.
Finally, she spoke. “I hope so. Are you sure?”
“TransSea says they have a job for me. They’ve attached an airline ticket.”
“I guess,” said Judy, “they’re pretty sure of themselves, aren’t they?” She realized what he was saying, “Does this mean you will be in Texas for the holidays?”
They both looked puzzled. When Jeff got back from Afghanistan, TransSea was one of the few companies that would offer him employment. He worked on the rigs in the Gulf for a number of years. It was hard and dangerous work. But it paid well. Judy prayed every night that God would protect him. She was a very religious person. Unfortunately, he was a subcontract employee, so when he was injured, the help he got from TransSea’s subcontractor was very little. Jeff and Judy ran out of money. Jeff was forced to settle with the workers’ comp carrier and to take what work he could.
“I don’t know, Jeff. I don’t trust those people. They didn’t treat you very good when you got hurt. What are they doing in Bermuda?” “I don’t know. It’s an awfully big company. They’ve got an office there. They want to meet me there tomorrow evening.”
She shook her head. “I don’t like the way that sounds.” She looked down at the laundry and stopped folding.
Jeff got up and came over to the couch. He put his arm around her. “But they’ve always paid me well, and we need the money.” He smiled.
“They say they are sure I have the skills to do the job.”
Judy touched his cheek lovingly. “Okay, honey. I’ll trust your judgment this time.”