Last Sunday, I sat at church next to my husband and turned on AVA ( the audio visual app I use) and then I leaned back and waited to hear what the Preacher Man had to say about the first book of Corin￼thians.
It didn’t take long for his words to shoot straight to my heart because I had just been telling an old friend about a story of my Daddy and this just bought tears to my eyes.
“Who are you?” Here we go….” Remember who you are!”
My Daddy was really my Papa. He raised me from the time I was six months old and although they tried when I was very young I make sure I understood who he was and who I was, it didn’t really make any difference.
I was his and he was mine. It was that simple. I had started out calling him Papa- Daddy but somewhere along the time, he just became my Daddy and I was so proud to be seen with him and associated with him .
That’s what the Preacher Man said about Paul calling out the people and claiming himself- he knew who he was and he was reminding others to be who they are .
We tend to forget that sometimes and we need to be reminded as Christians we have a Heavenly Father that we are known by and known for and we better take that to heart.
That’s one thing my Daddy always said to me-“Jeanna…remember who you are and who I am…. You’re the daughter of Odis Lawrence Johnson….act as if I’m with you because it’ll get back to me when you don’t”
When I was 16, we had gone on another business trip as a family. My Daddy , my Mema and my Momma traveled together during the summer months. Both Mema and my mom had gone to lunch with the other wives so I was left to do whatever I wanted.
I decided that I was going to the hotel pool by myself. So I walked down the halls of the hotel towards the elevator to go to the pool outside of the lobby wearing a bikini without the cover up I was supposed to be wearing. I thought I was too cool and too cute for that and I wanted to show off a little bit .
I got into the elevator feeling quite proud of myself with a magazine,a coke, a towel and that bathing suit cover up tucked into a beach bag.
Then this man stepped into the elevator with me and pushed the buttons and then turned to me and asked, “Aren’t you Mr. Johnson’s daughter?”
I stared at him, knowing full well that he would be telling my Daddy that he saw me on the elevator.
I shook my head, and said “Yes, I am. My name is Jeanna” and then he started telling me stories about how my Daddy has helped him get his first job in the company and how he had been so good to him. Over and over, this man was telling me how lucky he felt to know my Daddy and work for him for so many years and to finally get to meet his daughter.
We missed the floor to the pool and I was feeling nervous as the elevator went back up to the lobby landing. I started to try to juggle the cover up out of the beach bag while reading the man’s lips and trying to appear as if I knew what I was doing.
He said “I guess I made you miss your floor but I just wanted you to know what a great man your Father is”
Just then the elevator doors opened and there’s my Daddy standing with several other businessmen all of them dressed in suits and ties.
I was surprised but I shouldn’t have been. I knew he had meetings on and off all day at the hotel. I knew better but I didn’t do better.
Daddy looked at me and his eyes shot me a warning and I knew good and well that we would have a long talk when he got back to the hotel room.
The man stepped out and motioned to me,” I was just talking to your daughter,Mr Johnson and she’s as as sweet as you said she was.”
I was embarrassed and proud, ashamed of myself for letting my Daddy down yet happy that I was recognized as being his daughter.
I went straight back to the hotel room, skipping the pool because my heart was no longer in It and I didn’t feel quite so cool and cute anymore.
I had let my Daddy down. I knew how to dress and how to behave. He had raised me well and had told me time after time that wherever I go, somebody will know him and I should always be a good representative of him.
After all, I was Odis Lawrence Johnson’s daughter, wasn’t I?
That’s how we are called to live our lives here- as if we are representative of our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Our God and Holy Spirit.
Just like my Daddy would remind me that evening when he returned to our room. I didn’t represent him very well on the elevator. I knew that he expected me to be covered until I got to the pool, and I knew that not doing so was disrespectful to him but also to myself. Daddy has instilled in me confidence but also he had also taught me that there was a time and a place for everything.
I had not listened to my Daddy at first but after the conversation with the man I didn’t know and then the talk with Daddy that evening, I knew exactly what I had done and what I would do differently.
Over the years, there’s been times when I’ve forgotten who I was and who I belonged to. I had not acted as if I was the daughter of the King, I hadn’t lived as if the elevator doors would open up and I would find my Heavenly Father standing right there, surprising me.
But here I was, sitting at church again with my husbands arm across my shoulders listening to the Preacher Man remind me that I was created for such a time as this for a good reason- God’s reason- and His grace is all I need.
He’s faithful even when I’m not, He loves me even when I am ashamed of my actions and even when I don’t represent Him very well,oh, how He loves it when He sees an act of kindness, anything done in His name with love and when we talk about how good He’s been to us.
After I became a believer, I wrote my Daddy a long letter and told him that I had came to accept and know God as my Heavenly Father because of who he had been to me.
He had cried reading the letter after first getting on to me for staying at his house so late instead of “going on home to your husband “ but that’s the relationship we had.
Daddy could get on to me and love me to pieces at the same time…that’s just how the Heavenly Father does.
He gets on to us and He loves us so much. No matter what we do, He is still our God and He’s always ready to wrap a cover around us and pull us closer to Him. He covers us with love even when we are ashamed or embarrassed just like He does when we think we are so cool and cute.
We just gotta remember who we are and who we belong to.
My Daddy went to Glory in 1993 and I still live as if he’s going to be right outside the elevator, because I’m still his daughter…just like I’m the daughter of the King.