"He'll be back"
(By Bob Perks - Bob@BobPerks.com)

8-13-03 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #253
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

Well, I got back from visiting my family in San Diego yesterday evening (Wednesday) and I was pretty much exhausted by the wonderful experience, so that is why the S.O.W Seeds Story of the Week is coming to you on Thursday this week. It's another Good one from Bob Perks that I bet more than a few of you can relate to. Enjoy!

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Bob Perks

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Story of the Week
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"He'll be back"
(By Bob Perks - Bob@BobPerks.com)

She wouldn't let go. Most times he'd fuss about it. But this time he seemed to understand. He enjoyed the embrace just like he had so many times before. There were moments, in fact, when he longed for her tender touch. But he could not admit it.

There will be times ahead when he wished he hadn't let go.

There, lying on his bed next to him was his suitcase. He was just about to close it when she walked in. He expected this to be a difficult parting. But he didn't realize how difficult.

"Now don't forget to feed Freddie on time," he said as he slowly pushed back away from her. "You know how crazy he gets if he's not fed on time. He'll bark until you do."

She remained silent.

"Look, here's my phone number where I can be reached until I get my own phone. There will always be someone at this number in case you really need to reach me," he said.

"How many years have you been a part of my life?" she asked as if she didn't know but needed to hear him say it.

"Almost 20."

"So you can understand why this is so very difficult for me, right?"

"It isn't easy for me either," he told her as he turned and placed his arms around her shoulder. "You have always been there. I never had a worry in the world knowing you were there."

"What am I going to do with all the silence in this house? How will I sleep wondering where you are, how you are doing?" she said.

Then suddenly they both heard a car horn off in the distance.

It was time. This suitcase was the last piece to be packed.

"Beep. Beep!" The horn sounded again calling him to hurry.

They headed out the door and as he exited the room, she turned slowly and paused for a moment in the doorway. A thousand memories came flashing through her mind. A million moments of happiness and anguish flooded her head.

Then she caught up with him at the bottom of the stairs.

He grabbed a backpack and walked toward the front door. As he opened it slowly, he stopped halfway and said, "I know I must have said this a thousand times, but you do know how much I love you, don't you?"

She fell forward into his arms and without shedding a single tear just as she promised, she said, "Yes, you've proven that a thousand times also."

He kissed her on the cheek and as he headed down the sidewalk, he turned halfway and blew her a kiss.

The car pulled away slowly and she watched until she could see him no more.

Without hesitation she returned to the room and lying back on the bed she cried so hard her eyes felt like she was drowning.

Rolling to her side she glimpsed one more time at what was left of his.

There in the corner, still hanging on the wall, was Joey's lucky bat and glove. High upon the shelf stood the trophy he won in his senior year in swimming. Stacks of boxes contained his baseball card collection and on the wall just above his desk was an empty spot where a picture was hung.

He insisted that he take it with him. You see he played the tough guy here. By all standards of the world he needed to be a man. By all rights he was still a boy. But that picture would be his connection home over the next four years. Hung in just the right place in his dorm, it would remind him of his roots. One glimpse at just the right time during those late night hours cramming for the finals, would give him that extra push he needed. He would see himself there as a part of something bigger than all the world.

Family.

In a split second flash of a camera all the inspiration he would ever need was captured.

It was his high school graduation. That's him in the middle with Mom and Dad on either side. The smiles tell it all. They were proud of him. Now he is off to claim his place in life. It's something he has to accomplish. He has a purpose greater than the diploma he'll get. You see Dad died shortly after that moment and Mom has been working two jobs ever since to make sure he'd have this chance.

If this were a movie, the script would call for a split screen. There on the left Mom would be seen sitting at his desk back home slowly reaching up to where the picture once hung, she gently rubs her hand across the surface. "Oh, Joey we are so very proud of you!"

To the right on the screen, at that very same moment Joey reaches into his backpack he placed carefully by his feet in the car. He pulls out the photo and running his hand slowly across the glass, he says, "Mom, Dad, I'll make you proud."

The screen fades to black.

Life is in constant transition, moving forward, moving on.

But love is stronger than distance or time.

He'll be back.

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The Prayer
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Dear God,        
        Thank you for allowing us to be who we are. We'll try our best to “Do You Proud.”

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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