500 Miles From Home


Kentucky Refugee Ministries

I had a rather unsettling experience the other day while teaching ESL at Kentucky Refugee Ministries here in Louisville. We have students from all over the world in the class room: The Congo, Cuba, Somalia, Syria, and Iraq to name a few.

One of the other teachers in the class room was teaching a lesson on home and asked the students to name their home, as in what countries they came from.

She declared she was from Arkansas and then asked the students to name where their home was and they answered in turn. Then, for for some inexplicable reason, she turned to me and asked, “Benn where is your home?”

Well she caught me by surprise and at that moment I was dumbstruck because I literally could not think of an answer and it was at that moment I realized I did not have a home.

So I said, “I don’t really think of any one place as home as I have lived all over.” Well she repeated this back to the class and as the words rang rather hollowly in my ears, she went on with the lesson.


If you miss the train I’m on, you will know that I am gone

I sat there stewing in the inadequacy of my lame answer and finally came up with a better one. I raised my hand and grabbed my hat!

“Here is my home,” I cried. Then I took my hat and hung it up on an imaginary nail on the wall behind me. “My home is any place I hang my hat!”

Claire dutifully repeated this back to the class, then she caught my eye with a moment of silent recognition, then said, “good one.”

Lesson learned.


10 thoughts on “500 Miles From Home

  1. Very interesting Benn. You leave me with more questions than answers. Don’t get me wrong, I like your answer …

    Something about your experience made me think of Warsaw Shire, who’s quoted as having said:

    β€œAt the end of the day, it isn’t where I came from. Maybe home is somewhere I’m going and never have been before.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I left you with more questions than answers then I have achieved some measure of success. Thanks for your feedback. Always good to hear from you. I like the quote from Warsaw Shire btw. It gives me a another perspective about the whole idea of “home.” Thanks again, Timi.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It takes awhile to give what is a profound answer, Benn. πŸ™‚ Sometimes, it takes me a few days to think of a smart retort. I tell people the quaint words my great aunt asked me to cross stitch onto a pale tea colored fabric (when I was 15) were almost like a lifelong mantra, “Home is where the heart is.”
    When I came up with my blog “byline” it was “Relationships reveal our hearts.” It turns out to cover faith, love, friendship and community. Hope this finds you happy and healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

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