I remember his face looked hardened. Cold at times. Mean. Every time I asked my dad what was wrong with him, my dad looked at me like I was crazy. He said, your uncle Jimmy is a very nice man. I remember saying “I don’t think so dad”! My dad’s warm laugh always made me feel safe. It was a great feeling until my parents got divorced. I remember that day, the day my dad left my house… I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest.
I was eight years old and the only person I felt safe with… left. And… He moved in with uncle Jimmy!!! That year marked two years I had been coming home by myself from school and staying home alone until one of my parents arrived. I was six when I began, and now eight. I grew up coming home from school to an empty house and my mom worked hard to provide for us but she would get home about 5:45pm-6:00pm every night, right as the sun was going down. It freaked me out as a little kid but as long as she was home before the sun was down I felt okay.
One night the sun had just gone down and I was scared. As an eight year old I remember growing up being at home by myself a lot. I had been coming home by myself since I was six, but this time was different. The night seemed darker, colder, more lonely and scared than I had ever felt. You see my mom was supposed to come home at 6:00pm… and she didn’t come home. I checked with my neighbors and they didn’t know how to get ahold of here, at that time we didn’t have cell phones. So I called the hospital trying to find her, “Hello, is my mom there, did she get in an accident”? “Are you okay” they said? “Where are you? No your mom is not here. Are you safe? Where are you?” Then I hung up because I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone that I was by myself or else everyone would get in trouble.
I tried calling my dad, he didn’t answer either. I didn’t know where else to turn, I called uncle Jimmy. He says “what do you want?” I started crying… I said “my dad!!” He said, lock the door, I’ll find him. 15 min. later uncle Jimmy showed up in his transam, with a scowl on his face… and he came up to the door. He said, don’t worry, I’m right here…. No one will hurt you. My mom came home and uncle Jimmy shared some words with her and I remember the feeling… that night, that I was not alone.
One of the most important lessons I learned in life from this story and many others is the fact that I was never really alone.
This is especially true once you become aware of the presence of God. You see God is always around you and always with you. He is there during your greatest times of achievement and loneliest moments of despair. He cares and loves us in an intense way and at the same time…. we cannot always see him.
This was true with the followers of Jesus the day he rose from the dead. The Bible shares the historical account here in Luke 24:14-35. As you can see, Jesus was with his followers… even when they couldn’t see him. Take some time today to think about where God is at work around you… even now.