Where’s Your Home?

The snow was beginning to obscure the roadway as that cold January afternoon turned to evening. I had completed my enlistment and we were heading back to New York to start our new lives as civilians. It was the third day of our journey and the old yellow Plymouth station wagon was doing pretty well in the storm. It was the first time we had experienced a Nebraskan blizzard and we thought it would be better to make Norfolk before stopping for the night.  The roads were quickly becoming impassable and our three year old son, Mike, was running a fever. I pulled off into the parking lot of an aging, one story motel with a tiny diner next door. The carpets were well-worn and the furniture a bit threadbare but it would work for the night.  There were only a few cars in the motel lot.  However, there were a number of tractor trailer rigs, as the truckers had decided to sit the night out rather than navigate the slippery roads.

We unloaded the car and Olga began to get Mike ready for a cool water bath to bring his fever down. Mike began to fuss as she sat him in the stained bathtub. I figured that would be a good time to head over to that diner and retrieve something for dinner. As I took the short walk in what was now a full blown white-out, I began to worry. What was I going to do if my son needed a doctor tonight? There was no way I could get out of that lot and couldn’t imagine trying to find health care in a strange town. It was the time long before GPS and cell phones. All we had was a stack of paper road maps.

I sat at the small bar and must have been looking pretty grim when a long-haul truck driver spoke to me. He asked me how I was doing and I told him of my young son who was sick and that I was concerned how to get him to a doctor, if he got much worse. With no hesitation, he turned to a couple of other drivers at the bar and said that one of them would unhook their rigs and get us into Norfolk. Those tractors would go anywhere, regardless of the weather. He gave me his room number and told me to let him know any time during the night, if I needed that ride. I slept better knowing that I could rely on the kindness of strangers, should things worsen. Morning arrived and the fever had subsided a bit so we headed out for Norfolk to find a doctor.

The sun was out and the roads a little more clearer as we left the doctor’s office when Mike said, as only a three year old can, “I want to go home” After a moment, my wife answered “Well, Mike, we don’t have a home right now”. His mind had no way to process that tidbit of information, so he didn’t respond.

Around a week later, we arrived in New York and eventually rented a second-floor flat. Mike’s toys arrived from the moving company and he felt like he was home again.

It’s good for the believer to remember sometimes that this world is not our home, particularly when things get tough. It’s easy to get ourselves attached to the things of this world but we have His promise of a better place beyond the crystal sea.

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”Philippians 3:20

About the Author View all posts

Rick Gile

Rick Gile

Life is made up of stories. You may not realize it, but we relay our experiences to one another all the time. They can give our loved ones a sense of the past, our friends a glimpse of how we have reacted to life's changes. Or, tell a new acquaintance something about ourselves. Stories are really about the journey of life.

What you encounter as life passes are views of events that make up your past, while shaping your future. What you read here are merely a few of the stories that have shaped my life, so far.

Rick and his wife Olga live in upstate New York, close to their grandchildren. They work part-time with their sons after running a business for 37 years in the Albany area.

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