CMO 26: 062021 FATHER'S DAY
"Happy Father's Day" to all the dads across America and in the world. For each of them, I pray, "St. Joseph, Foster father of Jesus. Pray for the fathers across America and in the world. Amen."
When I mention the name Freddie Joe Steinmark, what or who comes to mind? Until last night, I didn't know who Freddie Joe Steinmark was.
Steinmark was a student at the University of Texas Longhorns (Austin), who passed away from bone cancer on June 6, 1971 at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas (2021, Wikipedia).
His parents were Fred and Gloria Steinmark. He also had a brother named Sammy.
Finn Wittrock stars in the role of Freddie Joe Steinmark in the 2015 film titled, My All-American, release date: Nov. 13, 2015. Directed by Angelo Pizzo. Based on Courage Beyond The Game: The Freddie Steinmark Story, by Jim Dent.
According to Steinmark's website, freddiejoesteinmark.com, Freddie was a starting safety for the University of Texas Longhorns 1969 National Champion football team. Steinmark was known for his faith, courage, heart, and perservance. Qualities we seem to find missing in today's culture. Not in all aspects of the culture, but just enough for it to be noticable.
Steinmark's leg was amputated due the cancer in his junior year. Twenty days later, despite his doctor's objections, Steinmark found the courage with the assistance of one of his teammates, to do what needed to be done in order to stand on the sideline to support the Longhorns in the National Championship game at the Cotton Bowl versus the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
Texas defeated Notre Dame, 21-17, closing the season with an 11-0 record under Coach Darrel Royal, who was in his 13th season as the head coach (2021, Wikipedia).
The point is this, I would not have known about Steinmark nor his courage in the face of great adversity had Mark not accidentally come across the movie while channel surfing.
Come to think about it, was it an accident that Mark came across the movie? I often times wonder.
We have heard it said time and again by folks like Steinmark, who are the recipient of unfortunate, or perhaps foturnate, life-changing events, depending upon how you look at it, that made them stronger, bolder, faith focused or driven, and more empowered than they were before the event occurred.
In the case of Steinmark, that faith, courage, heart, and perservance were already present in him. They were only amplified as a result of his experience.
Sure, there will be people out there who will find a way to respond negatively to this post or to Steinmark's situation. It takes all kinds to make the world go round. I say, "bring it on!" You go ahead and be the negative complaing Susie or Jimmy that you are. That is your right. I, however, will continue to love you as my neighbor, if not more, because through you as I do reading or learning about courageous folks like Steinmark and more importantly, the Lord, I find the strength to exercise my own faith, courage, heart, and perservance.
As my father sometimes would remind me, "Don't give up, Charlie. No matter how it looks, don't give up on God, your neighbors, or yourself." Great advice, dad. Thanks!
Happy Father's Day, men.