I don’t even know where home is…

July 5, 2008

Year 1992.  We were headed for Winter Break.  The students had already made plans where they will spend winter break.  I was going with Ron to his home in Buffalo, New York.  Plans had been made and we were just counting the days.  Just a few more exams to hurdle and we will be free at last.  Arrangements have been made to ride with some of our classmates, driving assignments were completed and even parental arrangements for pick-ups in Harrisburg.

All things were set. Except for this friend who said something that up to this day, still haunts me.

It was about 5PM and we were eating dinner and I asked about his plans for Winter break.  He stopped eating and said “I don’t know.”

“What? You are not going anywhere?” – my mind was already racing with ideas how to take him or with whom he could share a ride with up the greater north…

Before I could suggest anything he softly said “My dad had remarried…” and he left it there.

“And?” – I was expecting the rest of the sentence to come.

“He didn’t tell us where he lives now…”

Before I could process all these things he was telling me, he followed it with these words that forever left a sad mark in my heart…

“He did not tell us where he lives…. so now, I don’t even know where home is….”

That statement stayed with me.  I can still see him right now as we were seated at the corner of that dining hall in the Fieldhouse in Big Sandy, Texas back in 1992.

I could not erase in my memory what he said nor how it made me feel.  I was thousands of miles away from the Philippines, but I clearly knew where home was.

I have seen this statement played out many times as I have worked with the young people through the years.  They do not say this statement but I see this being acted out countless of times.  Many feel so lost and many are just simply trying to find their way.  I never realized how his statement made an impact in my life.  It made me want to help others find their way.  To help others find where their real home is.

This friend did not graduate from the college where we studied together.  The last time I heard from him was 8 years ago when we had a YM conference and he introduced me to his pretty little daughter.

I still think of this friend from time to time and wonder how his life turned out.  I would like to hear from him and share how my life is turning out to be. He was a good friend.  He was quiet and he did not feel rotten every time I beat him in chess.  We sat next to each other in most of our freshman classes because the alphabetical arrangement made it that way.

Hey JDK, I hope to see you again.  I still carry in my heart what you painfully shared in 1992.  When we meet again, I will tell you where our real home is.  Our Father is waiting for us.

God bless you my friend.

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