On Friday, December 30, at 6:40 pm Jesus Our Lord came and took Oom Andy Budiman home to live with Him in His Glorious Heaven. By the grace of God, our brother Richard was there with his dad until shortly before he passed on. Not long after he got home, the hospital called to break the news of Oom Andy’s passing. Richard was grateful for the opportunity to see his dad for the last time.
Santy and I saw Oom Andy at the hospital the day before. He was already unresponsive, but we trusted that he was still able to hear us sing his favorite songs. Oom Andy was ready to go home; during our previous visits he already voiced his longing for “home.” And that was what he said to Richard, too. He wanted to go home. And home is where he is now, not earthly home but heavenly home.
We will always remember Oom Andy as our poet in residence. Every Wednesday he would recite his thoughtful insights in the poetic essays sprinkled with humors. And he would write other poems for our Sunday’s services periodically. When I asked him where he got his inspiration from, he told me that he did not know either. He could only attribute it to God Himself who whispered all these to his heart and mind. Oom Andy was a blessing to us all.
One of the themes that often came up in the poems that he recited was heaven. He always talked about heaven as his sure destination; he never had any second thought about it. To us believers, heaven is not a utopian concept; it is a real place where God and his angels abide. But it is more than just a place; it is also a kingdom, where God rules and where there is only one law: love. But there is more to it; it is the place where “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”