My dad came to town Friday night to have dinner, he was in town for some gang education summit for youth workers.He works with many inner-city youths at his church and counsels some in juvenile detention. It is amazing that people like my dad exist. What I mean with that statement is this, my dad lives in a totally different world than most African-American, urban inner-city youths. My dad likes Francis Schaeffer, Laurel and Hardy, and old-fashioned gospel bluegrass. He loves people maybe more than any other person I know. He may tell really dumb jokes and he often doesn’t make perfect sense, but he loves people like Jesus does. Maybe my dad is much more like Jesus than I had originally perceived? The church I grew up in is fading fast and yet they have people like my father who will do anything and everything to reach kids out on the fringe.
It is surreal how much I am turning out to be like my father. I used to dread it when my sister made that proverbial claim. Now it is something I have come to embrace. If I am an ounce of what my father is than I have done well in life. After dinner we talked in my apartment for awhile about every son’s desire to go beyond what his father had accomplished. For my dad, he didn’t have to go very far, yet he went so much higher to break the cycle that was in his past. My mother has done the same with her past, and to both of them I am forever indebted. We also talked about what the future might be like when family comes to visit, how the grandkids would love to hear my father’s old jokes, be warmed by my mother’s kindness and gentleness, and learn how enchanting art and different cultures are by my sister. I hope it is as beautiful as I imagine it, I am sure it will be even greater.