Max Lucado, wrote a book titled, “Traveling Light.” In the seventh chapter, “God’s Loving Pursuit,” he tells a story about a sister’s (Debbie) unrelenting pursuit of her long-lost brother, Eric.
“Eric Hill had everything you’d need for a bright future. He was twenty-eight years old and a recent college grad with an athletic frame and a soft smile. His family loved him, girls took notice of him, and companies had contacted him about working for them.”
He had it all … on the outside. But something was wrong on the inside.
“On a gray rainy day in February 1982, Eric Hill walked out the back door of his Florida home and never came back.”
“Where Eric journeyed, only God and Eric knew, and neither of them has chosen to tell. What we do know is that Eric heard a voice. And in that voice was an ‘assignment.’ And that assignment was to pick up garbage along a roadside in San Antonio, TX.” And for many years he did just that: picked up trash on I-10. During that time, Eric’s home was a vacant lot.
One day, “EMS found [Eric] curled in a ball on the side of the road clutching his stomach.” The doctors who treated him discovered that he had terminal cancer and he would die within a few months.
A kind soul didn’t want Eric to face the those months alone. He took the the internet and published Eric Hill’s story.
Debbie stumbled upon the story and thought it might be her brother. She and her family went to San Antonio. They found Eric, but he did not recognize Debbie. After the first week, Debbie’s husband had to return home to work. Debbie and the kids stayed in San Antonio.
Months passed and Eric never recognized Debbie as his sister, he saw her only as a strange woman.
“I [Max Lucado] met her [Debbie] one Sunday when she visited our congregation. When she shared her story, I asked, ‘How do you keep from giving up?’
“‘Simple,’ she said, ‘He’s my brother.'”
Teachers face similar situations in their classrooms. They reach out to every student and some, for whatever reason, choose to not respond. And if you asked a teacher, “How do you keep from giving up?”, she, because of a great love in her heart, would automatically respond, “Simple, he’s my student.”
And to finish the Eric Hill story: “Days before he died, he recognized Debbie as his sister. And, in doing so, he discovered his home.”