One afternoon, a tramp – called at rural manse, asking to see the minister.
I’ve been a country minister on two occasions, and was regularly visited by such gentlemen of the road, who either wanted ‘money for food’ (usually of the liquid variety with an alcohol content of 8% & better known as a ‘Carly Special’) or food itself.
This particular minister was surprised, however, when his visitor said that he wanted ‘spiritual support’
The minister was delighted and ushered the man into his study – at last here was someone apparently not on the scrounge…..someone, instead, seeking spiritual support.
‘Do you know the Lord’s Prayer’?’ he asked the tramp.
A bit of a blank look.
‘It begins ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name..’
The tramp interrupted, ‘Excuse me, Minister, but did you say ‘OUR’ father?’
‘OUR….does that mean YOUR Father & MY Father are the same…you, know, if it’s OUR Father?’
‘Then if it’s OUR Father, we share a Father, so therefore we are brothers?’
The Minister replied, ‘of course, we are’
So the Tramp then said: ‘Well, you would not want your brother to be getting about wearing dreadful old boots like these!’
As a result of that interchange, the Minister sent the Tramp off to the local village cobbler to get his boots repaired.
A week later, the Minister happened to be in the village and was passing the shoemakers workshop.
The cobbler shook his head when he saw him. ‘That was a daft thing to do!’ he said to his friend, the Minister. ‘It’s going to cost you £10’
The Minister thought for a moment. Then he asked the cobbler, ‘Do you know the Lord’s Prayer?’
‘Yes, of course I do, I’m in the Kirk every Sunday; Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…’
‘OUR Father’ you said just now?’
Yes, OUR Father which art…’
The Minister cut him off again. ‘OUR? So that means that YOUR Father and MY Father are the same?’
‘And OUR Father is also that Tramp’s Father?’
‘Yes, I suppose so’
”Then, if YOUR Father is the same as MY Father who is the same as the Tramp’s Father…that makes us all brothers?’
I suppose so’ came the reply.
The Minister then opened his wallet, took out a note and said:
‘Here’s £5….you pay the other half of your brother’s footwear bill!’