"Our mission sends us across borders of every sort. Often we must make ourselves at home among more than one people or culture, reminding us again that the farther we go in giving the more we stand to receive.” - Blessed Basil Moreau
In the last 12 years, I have lived in four states and proudly called each of them home. When I reflect on my journey, I have found two things to be constant and true: my home is wherever I am and the people I have met have made the biggest impact on any place I live. Whether I was living in the beautiful Bluegrass State of Kentucky or near the Space Needle in Seattle, Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, and even the Golden Dome in South Bend, good people have always made my life better and helped me to call a city home.
From being welcomed to places with open arms to making new friends who in some instances became my family, the people God has chosen to be in my life has been monumental. I am a product of my environment, and the African proverb of it taking a village to raise a child describes my life. Many of the people I have met through my travels have helped me to become the person I am. At one of my new homes, it was the people who helped me to become more knowledgeable about how to incorporate social justice into my work. At another, people taught me how to teach and better care for or “walk” with students as they learn and grow. And, here, it has been my colleagues and friends who have shared their families and faith with me and made me better appreciate what it means to do good things for others. These are the people who talked the talk and walked the walk when it came to turning their faith into action. Throughout the years, I’ve realized that I did not want my actions, or lack of actions, to let them down and that maybe I should try to emulate some of their positive attributes, too.
Usually around the holidays people ask me if I am going home. I sometimes smile and say yes. I say yes even if I am not traveling because I sincerely feel that God has given me the peace of mind to understand my home is where my heart is. It’s wherever I am. It’s where I feel safe, loved, and where I feel I can make a difference. It is a place that isn’t necessarily a house or a town, but a place where I feel good about life. It’s where I feel I belong and it’s where my actions can make a difference in someone’s life. I understand that my home is where I am and that God has a mission for me. I believe I am supposed to try and help others and give back in some way. Maybe it’s offering a shoulder to cry on or being vulnerable enough to cry on theirs. Maybe it’s a kind gesture or a word of encouragement or just me saying, “Hello.” Or maybe, one or some of my actions, no matter how big or how small, just might be the answer to someone’s prayers. I don’t know.
What I do know is that if I trust in God’s plan for me and have faith that as he takes care of the birds, the bees, the grass, and trees, he will also take care of me and I can do the same for someone else. Maybe I can make a difference in someone’s life and in turn make my own life better. Here’s a thought: how much joy and happiness have you received from giving someone else a gift, a helping hand, or showing them kindness? I bet in some cases it has been priceless.
So, I will continue to cross borders, meet new people, and call new places home. I will pray that God helps me to help others and strengthen my faith, and more importantly, I will pray to let him lead my way.
- Mark Williams, Director, RecSports