The sunrise this morning had to be an after-thought. I needed to be on the road before it rose in order to not rush to Orlando International.
It's so funny how intuitive pets are. Bella and Gracie followed us around like a couple of shadows from the time our feet first hit the floor at 5 AM. They immediately sensed that the atmosphere was different. (Yes, I can hear all of you who are non-pet loving with your skepticism declaring, "The silly dogs saw the suitcases and that's all." Well, maybe. But the comfort that their adoring faces offered this morning was well worth any inconveniences they bring.)
Frank and I allowed ourselves ten minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee and a bit of "Beth Moore" before jumping up to get going. Those short moments, snuggled next to him also gave me a safe place for my first "cry" of the day. We've always been believers that tears are cleansing for the heart. Mine should just about be scrubbed clean by now.
We made Orlando in time and I was honored to be "randomly selected for an additional security check by the department of homeland security." I'm all about security, especially since one flight this morning has already been diverted to Greensboro, NC for a bomb scare.
But truthfully, it IS a bit demeaning to stand "to the side" positioned like an eagle on some state seal while a perfect stranger runs a wand ALL over you and feels compelled to PAT any area that elicits even the smallest of "beeps" from said wand. My comfort? I wasn't subjected to one of those horrible new non-x-ray x-ray machines that allows someone to scan things no one should ever be subjected to scanning if they are not a medical doctor. Sigh.
I've only been traveling for about three hours and I've made two new friends. (My sister, Vonnie, is sooo not surprised. Smile.) "Karen" from Michigan sat by me on the plane and although I didn't want to talk, (I did have my book out, I carefully avoided making eye contact, I even quickly looked out the window once seated) it was a conversation that we were supposed to have.
Then I grabbed a muffin and coffee when we got to Charlotte. They have the most inviting white rocking chairs all over this airport and I don't always have time to take advantage of them when coming through here. I made a bee-line for a grouping with only two rockers, I purposely pulled one faaaar away from the other, sat down and started sipping coffee and discreetly people-watching.
Within less than five minutes, a young dad with a precious baby boy zeroed-in on the other rocker. THERE WERE FIVE MORE CHAIRS AVAILABLE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COLUMN!! (The caps are for all those who may think people like myself step into the flow of concourse pedestrian traffic and solicit conversation from perfect strangers. I do not! Smile.)
The baby's name is "Brooklyn". The dad (Brooklyn looks just like him), baby and mom are all headed from St. Louis to Jamaica. I didn't get to meet the mom because they had started their journey at 2:30 in the morning and dad's assignment was to keep Brooklyn awake until they could get on the next flight which would be three hours long. That's when you really want an eight month old to take a nap! (No, that was not unearthed in an hour long visit; he only sat there about ten minutes and volunteered all that information, I promise.)
Oddly, both of these new acquaintances took time to say proper good-byes. To wish me well on the next leg of my journey. Karen offered condolences. Brooklyn even graced me with a big farewell smile and energetic wave.
I'm acutely aware this morning that we all need one another. And if we are blessed to know Christ, we are the light that this frightened world is going to be drawn toward more and more.
Father, help us to remember that "divine appointments" are all around us. Keep us alert; no one is guaranteed tomorrow. And this journey is shorter than we may suppose.
Thank you, friends, for your prayers for the days ahead. God's grace will be abundant I'm sure!
Know that you ...and many other who will be celebrating our dear sister life...are in my thoughts and prayers.
My husband and I have been A/G pastors (we've known Steve and Becky Smith for years) and my heart has truly been grieved...for the precious family and friends left behind!
Know that I'm thinking about you...and praying that you see God's fingerprints....through each step of this journey!