Here's to going home. There's something special about those first minutes when you walk in the door. The sights. The smells. The memories that let you know that this is where you belong. I remember the first time I went away to school. I was in seminary in Fort Worth, TX. My family lived in Macon, GA--easily 12 hours driving time. That entire first semester, I was crazy homesick. I knew where I needed to be and I knew why God had me there. But I also knew where I wanted to be. I missed mom and dad. I missed my bed and my room and all the things that make a house your home.
That first Thanksgiving break, I completed my finals, went back to my dorm room and packed my bags so I could make the early start the next morning. I wanted to be home as soon as I could. That night, I lay in bed wide awake. The anticipation was killing me. So, somewhere a little after midnight, I did the only thing this homesick boy knew to do. I loaded my truck and made the 12 hour drive home in the middle of the night. Probably not the wisest thing to do nor the safest, but I did it. Sometimes the urge to go home is so strong it overpowers everything else. I remember the greeting I got from my dad as I walked in the front door. (He had not been expecting me till much later that evening.) That alone would have been worth every mile of the journey home.
You might think I'm writing this tonight because I'm looking forward to the holidays. I guess, in many ways, I am as much as ever. But tonight, I'm writing with a mixture of emotions. I'm writing because of another homecoming. Just a few minutes ago, I got the word that my new friend from Arizona that I wrote about a few weeks ago, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. Tonight, he's home--a place he longed for, a place he was not sure of. Tonight, the pain that had ravaged his body for so long is no more. Tonight the tears that filled his eyes that day we first met have been dried. The fear and uncertainty are no more. I believe with all my heart that he is in a place where the sights are beautiful, the sounds are astounding and the faces let him know that he'll never have to leave again. He's home.
In that blog a few weeks back, I called him "Scott" to protect his privacy. Today, I'll let you know that his name was Steve...Steve Kerr. And in the few minutes I knew Steve in this life, I became a better man. Tonight, Steve is just one more reason I can't wait to get home. I love you, Steve. Your family and friends are in our prayers this evening.