Friday, March 20, 2009

Who's Your Daddy?

A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg,
Tennessee. One morning, they were eating breakfast at a little
restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet, family meal. While they were
waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking,
white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests.
The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, "I hope he doesn't
come over here." But sure enough, the man did come over to their table.

"Where are you folks from?" he asked in a friendly voice.

"Oklahoma," they answered.

"Great to have you here in Tennessee," the stranger said. "What do you
do for a living?"

"I teach at a seminary," he replied.

"Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I've got a
really great story for you." And with that, the gentleman pulled up a
chair and sat down at the table with the couple.

The professor groaned and thought to himself, "Great. Just what I
need... another preacher story!"

The man started, "See that mountain over there? (pointing out the
restaurant window). Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a
boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because
every place he went, he was always asked the same question, 'Hey boy,
Who's your daddy?' Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or
drug store, people would ask the same question, 'Who's your daddy?'

He would hide at recess and lunchtime from other students. He would
avoid going into stores because that question hurt him so bad. "When he
was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. And still,
the kid would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the
question, 'Who's your daddy?'

But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast he got caught
and had to walk out with the crowd. Just about the time he got to the
back door, the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his
hand on his shoulder and asked him, Son, who's your daddy?

The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the
Church looking at him. Now everyone would finally know the answer to the
question, 'Who's your daddy?'

This new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him and using
discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to
that scared little boy... "Wait a minute! I know who you are! I see the
family resemblance now. You are a child of God."

With that he patted the boy on his shoulder and said, "Boy, you've got a
great inheritance. Go and claim it."

With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked
out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever
anybody asked him, 'Who's your Daddy?' he'd just tell them, "I'm a Child
of God." The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, "Isn't that
a great story?"

The professor responded that it really was a great story! As the man
turned to leave, he said, "You know, if that new preacher hadn't told me
that I was one of God's children, I probably never would have amounted
to anything!" And he walked away.

The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress
over and asked her, "Do you know who that man was -- the one who just
left that was sitting at our table?"

The waitress grinned and said, "Of course. Everybody here knows him.
That's Ben Hooper. He's the former governor of Tennessee !"

Ben W Hooper (1870-1957), the Governor of Tennessee from 1911-1915.