Juneteenth is, as of June 17, 2021, an official, federal holiday. Yay! We love holidays. The problem, however, is at times, we forget the history behind the holiday.
Every Christmas there are voices bemoaning and berating those who have forgotten the “reason for the season.”
Is it possible that we don’t know, or maybe don’t care about the history behind this new holiday?
To appreciate the holiday and all it means, should we not aggressively and enthusiastically make every effort, remove every obstacle, to learning all we can about the history surrounding it?
It’s a hard history, and we don’t like things that are hard. It’s uncomfortable to sit on hard chairs or hard facts. And slavery is hard history. Violence against fellow human beings is hard history. White supremacy that justified the violence then and the injustices now is hard to face.
But maybe it’s only when we feel uncomfortable that we will change chairs – that we will do something to change the way things are and make them the way they should be.
Juneteenth will be celebrated, but learning about it may not be.
This will be my sisters and my first Father’s Day since dad died October 11, 2020. When someone you love dies you mentally mark the “firsts since.” First Thanksgiving … First Christmas… First Easter… First ball game… First…
The event feels different because of their absence. How could it not? I had 64 years with dad. I’m fortunate. I’m thinking of those who had much fewer years with their dads.
My cousins. Cousins on the Wright (dad) side were young children when their dad died. Cousins on the Murdaugh (mom) side were young adults when their dad died. So many Father’s Days have they crossed off the calendar without their dad.
Friends. …whose husband and father of their children, died at an age much too young. Some of them are experiencing their “first since” with this year’s Father’s Day.
A family who was told a few days ago that their husband and father had two months to live.
Others. People I didn’t know until I was asked to lead the funeral service for their dad.
On this Father’s Day, I’m thinking especially of you. Contemplate these words from Mother Teresa, “Death is nothing else but going home to God, the bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity.”
To those whose dad is still in their body, remember to always leave loved ones with loving words. That’s what dad would want us to know.
My dad followed the formula for a good sermon: Three points and a poem. He often concluded his sermons with a poem. Never read. Always recited. The main message he left us as he left this world was a message of “Be kind.” “Kindness” is the message of this poem, “Bouquets or Wreaths,” with which he concluded a sermon delivered at First Baptist Church, Poplar Bluff. Here is the last verse:
God make me kind. So many hearts are lonely Are asking for this only, The kind and tender word. God make me kind. To all who mutely ask it, Before they fill the casket, Our bouquets may be wreaths some day. O Lord, so make me kind.