Three Houses from Home

Everyone once in a while, I will share a reflection I have written from months or even years past. These reflections were initially written for my children and grandchildren to read after I am gone from this earth. I desired to leave a written legacy of who I was and what I thought. They encouraged me to share them with others.

This one was written on October 14, 2005…

Today was a wonderful day of activity.  I enjoyed playing golf at the Asian American Christian Counseling Service Golf Tourney with friends.  I think we raised a lot of money for a counseling agency dedicated to helping those in need.  The Friends of Todd fundraiser went very well.  Twenty-eight golfers hit the green raising $2,800 for AACCS.

The Spirit of God led me to give a devotion based on the premature death of Art and Sharon Yokoi and Todd Sakata, all of whom were good friends of mine and of AACCS.  I tried to encourage people to think about their eternal status and the value of knowing Jesus.  It was kind of an odd message for a golf tournament dinner, but I shared it with the love of God for the unsaved in my heart.  For those moments, I shared a love for people, some of whom I did not know, with the God of the universe.

Later that night, I was driving home and decided to listen to a recently purchased CD.  I bought it because of Mercy Me’s rendition of “I Can Only Imagine”.  This is the song I was listening to when the Lord allowed me to cry over the death of my good friend, Todd Sakata.

I perused the CD, listening to only those songs, which were pleasing to my ears.  I skipped over every song until I got to song #14, entitled, “He’s My Son”.

The song testifies to the hardship of a little boy who needs God’s help.  The lyrics are as follows:

   I'm down on my knees again tonight

   I'm hoping this prayer will turn out right

   See there is a boy that needs Your help

   I've done all that I can do myself

   His mother is tired

   I'm sure You can understand

   Each night as he sleeps

   She goes in to hold his hand

   And she tries not to cry

   As the tears fill her eyes

   CHORUS:

   Can You hear me?

   Am I getting through tonight?

   Can You see him?

   Can You make him feel all right?

   If You can hear me

   Let me take his place somehow

   See, he's not just anyone

   He's my son

   Sometimes late at night I watch him sleep

   I dream of the boy he'd like to be

   I try to be strong and see him through

   But God who he needs right now is You

   Let him grow old

   Live life without this fear

   What would I be

   Living without him here

   He's so tired and he's scared

   Let him know that You're there

   CHORUS:

   Can You hear me?

   Can You see him?

   Please don't leave him

   He's my son

The song captured my soul.  I listened to it over and over, again and again.  A few blocks from the place I call home, my thoughts turned to David Chew.  I had helplessly watched his father and mother tend to him as he slowly lost the life within him and eventually went home to be with the Lord.

As I turned the corner of the homestretch to my house, I began to cry uncontrollably over the loss of David.  Again, another bereavement within our church family over which I did not shed a single tear even though I felt the magnitude of the anguish.  There are times when I desire the release that comes with tears, but the rivers of grief are usually dry.

I pulled over to the curb just three houses from home.  I couldn’t go any farther.  Didn’t seem right to drive on or just wipe away the ministry of tears that God had for me.  There, alone with my grief, yet overwhelmed by the presence of the Almighty, I cried for little David and wished so very much that he was still with us.

In my mournful mind’s eye, I saw David’s parents, Wil and Janet, tending to their beloved son.  The words of the song echoed the words of their prayers, which I had heard them utter in quiet desperation:

   Can You hear me? 

   Am I getting through tonight? 

   Can You see him? 

   Can You make him feel all right? 

   If You can hear me 

   Let me take his place somehow 

   See, he's not just anyone 

   He's my son 

Then it hit me.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  As God, the Father, witnessed the anguish of His only Son on the cross, He could have also echoed those words – “See, he’s not just anyone, He’s my Son!”

At that wondrous moment, three houses from home, I once again realized what God has done for David and for someone like me.  He has given us the means by which we will someday go to our heavenly home.  Indeed, we don’t know just how close we are to the homestretch of life.  Some of us may be even closer than just three houses from our home.  After all, it is only as far as our last breath here on earth.

The shedding of tears was good.  No, it was great.  The joy that comes with the realization that someone like David did not die prematurely any more than Jesus did was even better.  And that he and Jesus are together… well, it doesn’t get much better than that.

If you read this, I hope you are as thankful as I am for the price God paid for our sinfulness.  He allowed Jesus to suffer and die for us.  And Jesus was not just anyone, He’s God’s Son.