Last Thursday evening I anxiously waited to board a Southwest plane headed to Louisville. Mind completely focused on getting to the person who would be waiting there to pick me up, I wasn’t prepared for the life lesson in store for me.
My flight was overbooked. “Can we have volunteers to move to a later flight?” the B3 gate attendant announced. “We will buy your ticket, plus add $300.” No way I’m volunteering, I thought. I could really use the money, but my someone is almost already to the Louisville airport to wait for me, and I don’t want to waste anymore time.
Fortunately, there were enough volunteers and I was able to board my scheduled flight. “This flight is completely full, there will not be an open seat, so just find one,” the flight attendant said.
I spotted a seat in between an elderly couple towards the middle of the plane. I hate sitting in the middle, especially between two people I don’t know. But they both had newspapers so I knew they wouldn’t be talkative, which was exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t feel good, I just wanted to get in my seat, close my eyes, and wake up when I was in Kentucky.
I took my seat between them, exchanged polite “hellos” and commenced to doing exactly that. As the plane went to take off I felt something. I opened my eyes to find this couple holding hands. “I hope you don’t mind,” the woman said to me. “This is what we always do.” Even though they were holding hands over me, and I was very uncomfortable, I told them I didn’t mind. I’m a softy and I thought it was sweet.
As the plane tilted toward the sky, I looked at both of them to discover they both had their eyes closed and were mouthing silent prayers.
Hmmm… I thought to myself.
The plane stopped in St. Louis, the little elderly couple I was sitting by (Whom I had talked to the rest of the flight, go figure.) got off the plane, and new passengers boarded to head on to Louisville. Now sitting in the same row with me was a woman, early 30’s who kind of reminded me of myself… spunky.
Once again the plane took off. I looked over at her to once again, discover someone with closed eyes, bowed head, mouthing a silent prayer.
Hmmm?… I thought again.
I consider myself a person of faith, I pray before bed, when I’m sad, uncertain, for others in need but besides church and dinner, I had never prayed in public or in front of strangers.
It was then I realized God was saying, “Wake up Danielle. I’m here always, everywhere. Don’t just have faith in me when it’s expected. Believe in me always, because I’m here for you in every moment.”
I had been blown away by these people praying so openly in public, isn’t that sad? Why should that be out of the ordinary or strange to me? Maybe this is the problem with our society. I am thankful to have crossed paths with these people who unknowingly opened my eyes and my heart to what I had been ignorant of.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Oh and for those of you who may be curious of that “someone” who was waiting for me at the Louisville airport, I’m sure you’ll be reading more about him in the future but for now…