Do you have a home?
The movie "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," starring Steve Martin and John Candy, is a hilarious comedy about an ad exec stranded on his way home for Thanksgiving who meets up with an unlikely co-traveler.
Driving late at night, they enter an exit ramp by mistake and are heading toward the oncoming traffic of the interstate. A driver on the other side sees what is happening and begins shouting frantically, "Hey! You're going the wrong way! You're going the wrong way!" John Candy turns to Steve Martin and says, "That guy must be drunk. How would he know where we're going?"
After dozens of unbelievable situations, in some of which they barely escape with their lives, they finally arrive in Chicago. In the train station they hilariously recount all of their narrow escapes and harrowing experiences, say their goodbyes, wishing each other a Happy Thanksgiving and take leave to go to their respective homes.
Seated on the L train, dreaming of the happy reunion with his family for the holidays, Steve Martin begins to have second thoughts. He gets off, catches another train and goes back to the station house. There, sitting all alone, he finds his traveling companion.
"What are you doing here?" he asks, "I thought you were going home." Embarrassed, chagrined, John Candy breaks down and tells him, "I don't have a home. My wife, Marie, died eight years ago."
The movie has an unforgettable, heartwarming ending with Steve taking John home with him for Thanksgiving and somehow we know every thing turns out fine. It's a wonderful movie, filled with lots of laughs. But what I remember most, what I can't forget, is John's reluctant confession, "I don't have a home!"
We are seeing more and more homeless people across our nation, across Central Texas. For anyone to come to the end of the day and have no home to go to is tragic. You and I—the followers of Christ— simply must do something about it.
It is even more tragic to come to the end of life's little day and have no home to go to. In the Gospel of John we read these words of Jesus: "I go to prepare a place for you." That was the purpose of his coming to earth two thousand years ago. Through faith in Him, you and I have "a house not made with hands, a home eternal in the heavens."
Rev. Nichols is Minister Emeritus of First Christian Church in Temple where he served as senior minister for 23 years before retiring. He writes a religious column for several newspapers. His e-mail address is cmnichols44@hot. rr.com