Daddy's Record Book

If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.
Psalm 130:3-4

The other day I was feverishly searching for a very important document, that wasn’t in its proper place. You know the old adage; everything should be put in its place which then can be found in place. But what I found really brought a smile to my face. In my unmentionable draw was a small, blue three by five spiral notebook. The cover was in mint condition but the pages therein with its notations were yellow. Eureka, I had stumbled upon my Father’s record book, which contained diagrams and his running entries of his business as a barber, at his shop on the corner of Lyons and Hill in Houston, Texas.

The figures recorded reflected his basic bookkeeping skills, applicable to his knowledge. The left entrance was what he started with during the first week in December 1951, minus his expenditures and the right column showing his net profits. Ladies and gentlemen, his grand total for that entire month was a whopping $78.50.
This book is a record on his efforts to provide for his family as the man of the house. He was his own man and displayed a sense of pride, dignity and organization as a black businessman. I find this very interesting in the sense that I wasn’t born yet. At that time it was just daddy (Jimmie Brandon), momma (Rosa Lee) and my brother (Jimmie Michael).

Considering the size of this book, with some of the pages empty; daddy did not find it necessary to say or tell it ALL! Some days were probably an utter washout, which meant he’d have to explain those numbers to momma and in turn she would adjust the family menu accordingly. (No food stamps in 1951). Not much was written or discovered about Jimmie Brandon, for he died at the age of 44, during the time I was about to turn 13.

If this little blue book was a reflection of one man’s work, in one family, one community with one ideology, what might God’s book say about me and you! Momma would always say, “God is looking and he’s booking”. This is true but we can live without fear of someone like me discovering your book when you are dead and gone. Or the possibility of your memoirs exposed at your demise, or even those secret diaries being read by others, if you are in a convalescent situation.

Truly who would be able to stand and exist under the cloud of God’s record keeping? There is a column entry for everything that we think, while awake and asleep. There is a spreadsheet of our uprising and our down setting with all things in between. Without the interceding of Jesus, who justified us by our faith we could not have access to God. Folks there is forgiveness, in the fear of God. Not as a spooky scary God, but an all knowing powerful God who will be there for us when we need him. The God who speaks to death on our behalf, every morning to say; “not today”; but only when the I AM says that it’s her time. Stop keeping a record of other’s wrongs because yours have been forgiven.
Edith