Clyde Hoey, former North Carolina U.S. Senator and Governor, describes how his faith in God helped him to overcome childhood fears of walking home in the dark, and supported him through life's challenges, a happy marriage, and the death of his spouse.
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And now, This I Believe, the living philosophies of thoughtful men and women, presented in the hope they may strengthen your beliefs so that your life may be richer, fuller, happier. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Senator Clyde R. Hoey of North Carolina has a long and distinguished record of public service. Looking back, his career starts at the age of twelve when he became a printer's devil. He continued as an apprentice until he learned the printer's trade. Then at 16, he bought a newspaper on credit, which he edited and published for 14 years. In the meantime, he studied law at home, and was licensed to practice when he was 21. His political career began when he was elected to the state House of Representatives a few months before he himself reached voting age. Since that
time, he has been elected to the state Senate, the United States House of Representatives, the governorship of North Carolina, and the United States Senate. Today, in his late 70s, he is serving his second six-year term in the Senate. He has devoted a lifetime to the problems of other people. The Honorable Clyde Hoey now shares with us his personal creed.
I believe in faith. I’ve always had faith. As an adolescent, I pondered the full-orbed canopy of the far extended skyline and believed that there was a great first cause, God. To me, there was no other explanation of the universe and no other assurance of protection and guidance.
When 12 years of age, I was privileged to work in a printing office, for long hours, daily, and many times far into the night. After concluding the labors of the day and night, I’d walk alone the long, dark, and lonely road, through woods
and uninhabited sections, for a long mile to my home. Scared of the dark? Yes. Afraid? To be sure. But armed with a heavy, hickory walking stick, I looked up into a starlit sky and thought of my free heritage, and believed in a Father God, and would not admit my fears to even my co-laborers. From the standpoint of the world, I was unafraid. I am still unafraid.
Growing into manhood, with manifold responsibilities and perplexing problems requiring all the resources of which I was capable, there was a constant and increasing need for some reservoir of power that could be tapped in periods of emergencies and hours of crisis. In my faith, I discovered that reservoir. I found matrimony a happier state. Blessed with a radiant and lovely life companion, the establishment and management of home was a high adventure, and the coming
of children in that home brought the full realization of the joy and happiness possible only in this most honored and ancient of Earth’s institutions.
Ten years ago, after 42 years of happy married life, my wife, and the mother of my children, passed to her reward. My faith in her and her faith in God lingers as a blessed heritage in the sanctuary of holy memories. Faith has been indispensable amid the sorrows and sadnesses of life, and has been exhilarating and sustaining in periods of joy and triumph. The experience gained through the years, and whatever learning and knowledge I have acquired, have not lessened but, rather, increased my faith in a God who guides the destiny of nations and individuals, and who even marks the falling of a sparrow.
Conscious of my own shortcomings and sins, ashamed of my failures and omissions of duty, and fully mindful of the unfaithfulness which has marked my life, I have never doubted the wisdom and the goodness, the might and the mercy, of a gracious, loving Heavenly Father, God. I join the late, great Kansas editor, William Allen White, when he said in a period of crisis, “I’m not afraid of tomorrow. I’ve seen yesterday, I loved today, and I face tomorrow unafraid.”
There are many clouds on the horizon of America. I’ve had and shall have many dark nights. But there’s never yet been a night dark enough to put out the stars, and there shall not be. This is still my Father’s world, and my faith abides.
Those were the beliefs of Clyde R. Hoey, the senior United States Senator from North Carolina.