A Boy Named Sue

My daddy left home when I was three
And he didn’t leave much to ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.
Now, I don’t blame him cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me “Sue”…

This old Johnny Cash song tells the story of a boy whose Dad names him Sue. From an early age he discovers that being ‘A Boy named Sue’ he has to be quick witted and strong. ‘Sue’ spends his life searching for his Dad to get his revenge…

Although our Covid-world is having a devastating effect on many lives and families there is a sense in which tough times do make us stronger and wiser. Many discover that sickness, family crisis, bereavement or significant difficulties in life have been really tough but have had a beneficial effect.

Cliff Richard, who celebrated his 80th birthday this week, said how he has drawn closer to God through difficulties:“My faith is stronger than ever because I’ve had to rely on it in recent years much more than I’ve ever had to.”

I’m musing again on the words of St Paul: ‘…we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts…’

Eventually Sue catches up with his Dad. After a fight his Dad explains:  

… “Son, this world is rough
And if a man’s gonna make it, he’s gotta be tough
And I knew I wouldn’t be there to help ya along.
So I give ya that name and I said goodbye
I knew you’d have to get tough or die
And it’s the name that helped to make you strong.”

By naming him Sue his Dad was helping him!!

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