joejessI’ve never cried for home. For leaving home to be exact. If anything, leaving home always meant a certain freedom gained and a sense of duties fulfilled. Home for the last few years has been difficult to say the least. A constant juggling of fulfilling parental expectations (remarried parents means double the expectations) and a continual reminder of how broken home actually is. A continual having to put my “important” life on hold while having to attend to all the random things there is to do at home.  A certain unbearable discomfort as home becomes less and less like home and I feel more like a stranger to my nativeland. And yet last night as I left my dad’s house after a short 4 days, I felt a tinge of sadness in my heart.

Before I left, my dad gave me one of those side hugs. You know those awkward ones that Asian fathers like to give, and said something to the extent of “drive safely” (Asian father talk for “I love you”). My dad is probably one of the kindest and most generous men I know. I rarely have seen him raise his voice, and I daily watch him sacrifice for his family. Every time I come home I am constantly surprised of how supportive he is of what I do (supportive meaning he doesn’t tell me to quit or that he’s disappointed in me). He never tries to over burden me with expectations and is always understanding when I need to spend less time with him to spend more time with my mom.  And he spares no expense in trying to show his love in his asian father way, awkward side hugs, pats on the head, and all.  It sometimes surprises me that he’s not Christian, as he demonstrates the love and patience of Jesus better than most men I know. He definitely makes being at home more bearable.

But probably the hardest to leave will be my adorable sister. She’s grown so much.  Every time I see her she becomes taller and lankier.  I often wish I could be around more to play with her… to spoil her… to tell her about Jesus, and to just be the big brother that I know she misses when I’m gone.  I had just spent the day playing with her. We ate lunch, went bowling, and just hung out. When I got tired I took a short nap while she came and bothered me every few minutes. As night came she knew that it would soon be time for goh goh (‘goggie’ as she calls me) to leave, and I could sense her becoming a little more quiet. When it was finally time to go, she gave me a big hug and said goodbye and ran upstairs. A little later as I backed out from the garage I saw her come out with her hands over her eyes… she was crying. My instinct kicked in as I put the car into park and ran out to embrace her. As I gave her a big hug I told her that I loved her and that we would see each other soon. And for a brief moment all the ‘torture’ of having to be home seemed to melt away. I love this girl to death.

And so, driving away I felt it in my heart. I would miss home. I would miss my loving dad and my cute sister. I thought about all the time I was missing out on seeing her grow up and being able to daily show what following Jesus to my dad. And for the first time in a long time I actually thought about moving back home. And so, adding to the fresh tears on my shoulders I shed a few tears for home.

God continue to change my heart.

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