My father has been gone, hard to believe, for over twenty years now. I still miss him and there are times when I reflect on and ponder the wonderful times we had together. Needless to say, my dad had a huge impact on my life. There were many things about him that I admired: his character, his devotion to his family, his ability to face adversity, his faith, his willingness to care for and help others; the list could go on and on. But when I think about how he impacted my life so deeply, I would have to say that his influence mostly came about from the times that we simply "hung out" together...
Today is June 19th; some refer to it as Juneteenth. A friend had to explain to me what was meant by that term. She shared that June 19th, 1865, was the day that marked the official end of slavery in America, as federal troops, led by General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas, taking control of the state and freeing 250,000 enslaved people. It official marks the end of difficult and dark time in the life of our nation. However, though there have been many signs of progress, racism and racial tension still exist in our country and we as a nation still struggle to find ways to ensure 'freedom and justice for all." But as I think of this day, and the ongoing struggle we, as American citizens, face; I think back to a lesson I learned in Sunday School so many years ago. I wonder if this is a lesson we should focus on once again...
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.