Saturday, September 13, 2014

on a wing and prayer...

the first time i flew i was accompanied by co-workers from clemson.
friends, really.
we were bound for a conference in reno, nevada.
i sat with my boss as he reassured me during the flight.
they all made sure i got my wings.

i have flown a few times since that time.
never really nervous.
zipping through airports. 
claiming luggage.
hailing taxis.
i felt glamorous.  sophisticated, even.

and then i had a family.
almost two years ago, my husband and i flew to alabama.
i was a nervous wreck.
something about leaving your baby and flying together was unsettling to me.
i prayed the whole flight.

i shared here about a day most will never forget.
i suppose we won't.
like my parents will never forget that fateful day in 1963 when a beloved president was killed.
my generation will never forget the day our country was attacked.
there is so much about that day that is a blur.
yet, there is still so much that is forever etched into my memory.

just this week i had the opportunity to fly.
i attended a conference in chicago,
the last time i visited chicago i was with my beloved beauties.
we hit the city to see beth moore.  
those are days i will never forget either.

this week was different.
it was work. 
very little time for play.
and yet, i found myself praying the entire flight again.

thirteen years ago changed the way people travel through the air.
on thursday, i witnessed the effects of that tragedy.
as hundreds of people made their way to their terminals, security was at its highest.

i watched fellow travelers.
finding myself smiling as i become acquainted with them.

there was ben.
he was fourteen months old.
flying with his parents and his grandparents to a wedding in ocean isle.
it was his third flight.

there was a couple bound for the coast.
today, they vow their love to one another.
and pledge to do so forever.

there was a bachelor.
and his friends.
planning to celebrate the last few days before he makes the journey into a lifelong commitment with the love of his life.

there was the grandmother.
flying to celebrate the fourth birthday of her grandson.
and eager to see her baby girl.

there was the elderly couple.
who contemplated driving because of a bad hip.
yet, decided that flying to see their children was the quickest way.

there were the lifelong friends.
who shared breakfast at the gate as they waited to board.
they spoke of their children with smiles and laughter.
and were eager to watch the sunset over the ocean and sip on good coffee.

all of these.
and so many more.
i whispered prayers over them.
while we waited at gate L-7. and while we soared through the brilliant, blue sky that morning.
yet, they remain in my prayers today.
for when the wheels touched down in south carolina, i was home.
they still have a flight to go before they reach home again.

while aboard flight 843 to myrtle beach, i was covered in the peace that i control nothing.
nothing.  not the best of plans for my day.  nor the flight plan for anticipated destinations.
i will never understand how planes fly into buildings. or fall from the sky.
i will never know why people suffer with the tragic loss of loved ones. 
or are met with devastating last days.
but i do know the One who knows all.
His peace surpasses all understanding.  

no one knows their last day.
i find comfort in that.
for this is not my final destination.
it is a temporary layover until i reach eternity.
until then, i can only pray to be a reflection of the glory that awaits.

jesus, come quickly.

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