Fran is facing some serious financial difficulties. She is trying to cut expenses, and is facing the possibility of having to find a cheaper place to live.

“Guess I need to sell the house,” she says, but the thought depresses her. This house has become a part of her and she doesn’t want to give it up. She feels anger start to rise up in her, just thinking about it.

“It’s just not fair,” she thinks, as tears start down her cheeks. Looking at her wedding picture on the desk beside her, she remembers life with Jim. “It’s just not fair. Why did Jim die? Why did God take him from me? It’s just not fair?”

Fran puts her head down on the desk, sobs shaking her body as the pain and loneliness flood her memory. Suddenly she sits up and says out loud, “Lord, it’s just not fair. I didn’t do anything to deserve this,” and all the anger she feels comes pouring out.

“I understand,” Jesus replies, quietly.

“How could you understand? You’ve never had to raise two kids by yourself!” The words come out of her mouth before Fran can stop them.

“I understand loneliness; I was rejected by my closest friends,” Jesus reminds her. “Even my Father turned his back on me as I hung on the cross. I understand because I’ve experienced every kind of pain that you have, Fran.”

The room gets very quiet, as Fran’s sobs subside. She thinks again of how much Jesus suffered for her and feels very ashamed at her outbursts. “Lord, I’m so sorry. . .” she begins, but Jesus interrupts her.

“No need to apologize, Fran. You’re complaining to the right person,” Jesus says, as he reassures her of his love. “Remember David—Psalm 142. Why don’t you read that Psalm right now?”

Fran opens to Psalm 142, and begins reading:

I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; . . .Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. (Psalm 142:1-3,6-7)

Fran’s spirit is more calm as she finishes the Psalm. “Thanks for understanding, Lord,” she says.

“Fran,” Jesus says, “since I know what you think anyway, you might as well tell me. Then at least we can deal with it.”

Fran tries to smile. “David says ‘set me free from my prison.’ I feel like I’m in a prison, too—a money prison. Because of the lack of money, I’ve got to sell my house, uproot my kids, and change my life. If I just had more money, all that wouldn’t be necessary.”

“Fran,” Jesus says to her, “money is not the answer to your problems.”