And the hand faltered, poised between two alternatives.
“Choose me,” came from the imagined voice of the anti-depressant bottle. “I will make you instantly feel better. You don’t need to fight anything when you take me. There’s no wait and, finally, no worry—no, no worry at all—just a ‘never-never-land” of endless quiet and peace. You want peace, don’t you? I am the quick, bust answer to all your pain and heartache.”
And the hand moved slightly toward the bottle, yet hesitated, when another small voice came quietly.
“I can’t answer your pain immediately because you are too young in your walk with me,” intoned a very deep voice from the Bible lying close to the pill bottle on Joan’s bathroom cabinet. “Just pick me up and read anywhere, but read with diligence and persistence each day. Seek God with all your heart and be patient. You will learn to trust and to lean on God with me as your guide. Find the church you left so long ago and just go. Sit and savor the glory of God about which I speak. Let my words ingrain in your heart, and then a lasting peace and comfort will always be yours when you need love and assurance.”
And the hand poised thoughtfully above the Bible.
“No, wait,” insisted the pill bottle. “You’re not strong enough to wait that long and to work that hard at finding this solution to your growing problem of self-esteem. Come on, now, pick me up. I am easy to use and there is no wait.”
` And the hand hesitated between both alternatives and began to nervously move with great agitation.
“Joan,” whispered the Bible, “Do you know you are God’s child and always have been and always will be? Do you know you were made in his image and you are so very deeply loved. That makes you worth so much because you are already worthy of God’s love. Just realize as you read me that I will give you more assurances that you CAN do this without pills—just with God.”
“No, you must take my pills. You’ll be a fool again when you go out today. You know you have to impress the new boss to keep that job and go up in the workplace. I know you’ll break down without me, and you know how odd your conversation becomes—how you can’t get off subjects that bother you. You know you have no perspective on problems. You’ll not get enough sleep. You’ll get physically ill-not just mentally ill, too.”
“Joan,” rebutted the Bible,” Just trust my words. Just grow and become. Everything that you need to do, I can give you the assurance that God is big enough and great enough to help you. Believe in God and then you can believe in your own abilities as you grow. No one can truly find God’s peace without struggling. Sometimes there are years of trying to grow and failing. Give yourself time to grow as your read to learn about God’s great love. Take those first steps, however faltering those may be, and God will be there.”
And the hand poised indecisively still. Tears appeared on the cover of the Bible. Sobs made them shake nervously. But, finally, the hand gently, yet hesitatingly, opened slowly the holy book’s pages to read: “And God who is overall will strengthen and be with you always.”
And the hand grabbed the pill bottle and threw it in the trash.
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