As a boy I was expected to look adults in the eyes when they spoke to me. If they extended a handshake my father’s orders were to call them Mr. or Mrs. as I looked at them face to face.

Brother Mike was standing side by side with me, our backs to the oil stove. We were warming our bed partners; a heated brick to weather our icy bedroom. Bennett, our dad, was leaving at 11 p.m. to manhandle sheets of plywood all night for two bucks an hour.

Bennett opened the door to step into an extraordinarily cold, winter night.  Abruptly he closed the door as he turned back around to glare at us.


Our eyes were fixed on the floor. We had no interest in a lecture.

Pops screamed loudly, “LOOK AT ME!”

Fearing a slap we met his gaze eyes to eyes.

Young Cherokee boys were taught to have clean hands and straight eyes. These were prized character traits to master.

Most cultures place a high value on honesty and truthful talk.

Honest hands and true eyes are more valuable than silver and gold.

No wonder the good book calls the eyes the window to the soul and good work with your hands represents a man or woman of character.  May sound harsh but the Bible says if you don’t work you don’t eat.

There was a day not too long ago when a handshake was more trustworthy than a contract. The keeping of one’s word was more important than financial success; even more important than life itself.

In today’s business world a contract is only as good as the character of the person or persons behind the contract. For this reason God never call marriage a contract in the Bible.

Because of the devastation of divorce and the subsequent consequences to the second third and even fourth generation of the divorced, the God of all wisdom called the union of man and woman a covenant, never to be broken.

chief_joseph-1877In the amazing Indian Nation, clean hands were symbols of truth, honesty, and integrity.

Straight eyes validated the righteousness and motivation of the heart. One chief refused another because “I don’t trust his eyes.”

One of my Indian heroes was Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. His native name meant Thunder Over The Mountain. Thunder was a man of clean and straight eyes.

Today I talked to a business man about removing trees that died on our property.

Though we did not shake hands, I believe this man had clean hands and straight eyes.  In fact, I told him, I see kindness and integrity in your eyes.

The sink and warm soapy water clean dirty hands from work.

The manual for life tells us that as far as the east is from the west He has removed our sins from us. Psalm 103

This life giving manual we call the Bible has promised that our Creator will create a clean heart in us and renew a pure spirit.

An elegant new shower with the perfect shower head combined with the finest shampoo cleans and refreshes our tired bodies.

God’s WORD cleanses and purifies hearts and souls. We can rejoice in the blood of Jesus Christ who paid the penalty for all the darkness in our minds and hearts

Truly we are a new creature in Christ, the old things pass away, all things become new. He gives us clean hands and strait eyes.


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