Show Me

As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice

“Show Me!”


            For those of you who do not know, the State of Missouri has an unofficial state slogan.  The slogan is “The Show Me State” and even the words “Show Me” appear on the state’s license tags.

The origins of the slogan vary but the most widely known legend attributes the phrase to Missouri's U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1897 to 1903. While a member of the U.S. House Committee on Naval Affairs, Vandiver attended an 1899 naval banquet in Philadelphia. In a speech there, he declared, "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me." Regardless of whether Vandiver coined the phrase, it is certain that his speech helped to popularize the saying.

I have a brother who was born in the “Show Me” state and believe it or not he is the epitome of the slogan.  You almost have to put something under his nose for him to believe what you’re saying is true.  To him, either it’s true or it’s not true, and there is no in between possibility.  I have to cut him some slack from time to time as he reminds me of a well-known Biblical person.

By the way he acted, we could jokingly say, “Thomas must have been born in Missouri!”  We don’t know much about Thomas.  We do know Thomas was his Hebrew name, and was sometimes called by his Greek name, Didymus.  It is written that Thomas was a bewildered man, a pessimist by nature.  But Thomas was a man of courage.  He first appeared at the raising of Lazarus as written in John’s gospel.  Next, Thomas was the one who declared during the Last Supper he did not know the way Jesus was going.  Lastly, he was the one who famously declared he would not believe Jesus had truly risen from the grave and was alive, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”  Then Jesus suddenly appeared in the upper room with the twelve apostles.  He invited Thomas to see the scars in His hands and to put his hand in His side.  Jesus told him to stop doubting and believe!

We all doubt from time to time.  Sometimes they are little doubts like, “Will my prayers be answered?”  And most of us will have to admit sometimes in our life we have even doubted and thought, “Does God really exist?”  It’s alright to doubt.  Do not get down on yourself.  Thomas was a man who walked with Jesus, listened to His teachings, and was told directly by Jesus the way to Heaven.  Jesus Himself removed all doubt from Thomas.

Don’t think for a minute Jesus gets upset when we doubt.  Remember what Jesus told Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Today, believe in Christ and be blest!

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