Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Like Father, Like Son

I've been blessed to coach many wonderful kids in both middle school and high school. Ashlee Thomas is one of my very favorites. During her senior year, I was honored to write one of her letters of recommendation to college. Like many kids I've coached, Ashlee has left me with a lifetime of great memories. The following, from 12-15-05, is one of them.

There is a picture on my desk at school. You have to realize that my desk is like a towering mountain peak. You get that rare glimpse on magical days when the clouds clear away and there is a breathtaking panorama. There is nothing breathtaking about my desk but the rare part is appropriate. It's a wreck. So the picture on my desk is sometimes visible but mostly, like the peak of Everest, hidden. There is background on the photo. We had a couple who worked at Westbury Christian School for several years, Wes and Rachel Hanson. They relocated when Wes enrolled in the Sunset Bible Institute to become a minister, like both his father and Rachel's. Wes and Rachel were proud parents of identical twins, Andrew and Eric. In their last year in Houston, Rachel became pregnant and they promised that if the child was male, he would be named in my honor. You know what I was hoping for! I would have loved the baby regardless but I was pulling hard for the XY chromosomes. Prayers were answered- at least mine- and Stephen Hanson came onto the scene. That's the picture in question- me holding my namesake, Stephen. Several weeks ago, one of my basketball players saw that particular picture. The 8th grader, a wonderful young lady named Ashlee, asked me this question:
"Coach, is that baby in the picture you?"
Ashlee is one of the most trusting people I know- she believes what I say. I responded:
"Yes, it is, Ashlee."
Her next inquiry?
"Is that your father holding you?"
Now, I'm having a hard time keeping a straight face.
"Yes, it is, Ashlee."
Ashlee's response, and I am not making this up, was:
"Coach, your father looks ALOT like you."
I love Ashlee-she is one of my favorites of all time. She is just gullible. I quickly corrected her impression and we laughed. And, based on what she believed to be true, my dad looks incredibly like me!

The Scriptures are replete with family terms in regards to spiritual relations; Father, Son, brother, sister. There should be something familiar about those with whom we share the bloodlines of our Savior. Jesus defines his family as those who do the will of his Father. Do others see any resemblance to Jesus from the way I live my life? We can match kids and their folks at school sometimes with only a glance because the likeness is so overwhelming. Is there any overwhelming likeness with me and our Creator? Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic short story, The Great Stone Face, tells the tale of a young man, Ernest, who ponders a face that nature has etched into a mountainside. After decades of studying the granite profile that embodied many positive characteristics to the local inhabitants, it was discovered that Ernest had become the likeness of the Great Stone Face. There's a lesson for us- we become what we focus on. By focusing on spiritual affairs instead of earthly matters, we can perhaps be recognized as being heirs of the kingdom of God. And remember, heirs are always related!

Applicable quote of the day:
"It doesn't matter who my father was. It matters who I remember he was."
Anne Sexton

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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Jon said...

am i one of your favorties????? hahaha

David Michael said...

You look so natural! :)

Devin Turner said...

omg that was so funny with that story about Ashlee that is something i would have said!!

astrosfreak09 said...

That's really cool that he's named after you! It's like a blessing to you as well as the family. He gained your name sake and they gained their child. Very awesome Coach! Congrats to all of yall!

God Bless
Downtown Brown