All of us are born with this yearning for ‘home ‘. Sometimes we spend a lifetime trying to figure out where this is.
Recently, as I walked into the isolation room of the paediatric ICU, I met the smiling face of 4 year old Akhil. Akhil had just been diagnosed a few weeks back with a bad form of blood cancer. Nothing more to be done. He was just being given palliative care, meaning support him till he succumbs. Well, he certainly didn’t look it as I walked in to collect his history and get all his details. He first gave me that ‘Can you be trusted?’ look and then when he’d decided I can be taken into his confidence, he smiled with a twinkle in his eye. Suddenly the chaos of the PICU outside the isolation room didn’t matter anymore. I sat down beside him, and asked him the most basic question..Hey, how are you?
The smile didn’t cease as he replied,’ I’m good. I have cancer. But I’m going home.’
That statement was a little too much for my sleep deprived mind to process..my mind be like ” wait.. did he just tell me his prognosis as well? Or did he just say he wants a DAMA( discharge against medical advice)?”
So I ask him like I’m the 4 year old and he’s the boss..’ Home is where , da?’ So he places his small hand in mine, and looks at me like I’ve a long way to go to reach his level of understanding, and says ” see chechi( read elder sister), it’s okay if you can’t treat me, ‘cos I’ll be home in heaven with Jesus. That’s where I actually came from. Will you pray with me today?”
As I held his hand and prayed with little Akhil in the PICU that night, I realised the truth in what Jesus said, Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the Kingdom of God.
Wisdom doesn’t necessarily belong with the grey haired.
Born in one country, brought up in another and then finding my vocation in a different state among a different culture and people, if you ask me where’s home? I’ll take some time to answer that one. But homesickness does strike quite often , and the yearning to belong as well.
So on one of those homesick days , I decided to go ” home”, as in the place my parents live in. Guess what – ‘homesickness’ didn’t go away. Went and spent some time with my closest friends- no luck there either. Finally, after I’d exhausted the available options, I got down on my knees to spend some time with the Maker. Needless to say, it wasn’t a long time before I felt home.
That day I realised what Akhil told me- home is not in the mountains or by the seaside; it’s not even where family is or where your entire lifetime was spent; it’s not in the arms of your lover or with your closest friends- it’s where your God is. In His presence, there you’re best at home. Home’s heaven. And that’s what our hearts ache for. And this lifetime is the journey towards.
And that was little Akhil’s hope and joy.
‘My home is heaven. I’m just travelling through this world ‘ Billy Graham.