“You have got to be kidding me,” was my response to Cathy’s sobbing voice. I listened in disbelief as she told me that due to a lack of parking at Charlotte Douglas Airport she arrived five minutes late at the check in counter and they would not allow her on the plane to Costa Rica. We were looking forward to spending time together after I was finished with my work in Costa Rica, Cuba and discussions about new partnerships in Chile, Peru and Colombia. Bottom line, since she couldn’t come to me I changed my flight and headed home. When I get home we would head to one of favorite places, Charleston South Carolina for four days. I am looking forward to this time away, the first time in two years. As I reschedule my flight back to the United States I had to acknowledge that God was in control even though we planned this time away for months. Perhaps He was protecting us or as the Apostle Paul once wrote, “I wanted to come but the Spirit kept me from coming.” I wondered what all could have awaited us. This was a time for me to just trust.
The next day I arrived at the airport and as I was sitting down two men joined me as we waiting for the flight to board. As a discussion ensued the first man described his sexual exploits with other women even though he was married with six kids this just seemed fine to him. The second man was asking about different parts of Latin America and where he could learn and sharpen his Latin style dance skills. I just sat there, listening and praying for these men. I know the depth of my own selfishness and sinfulness. I thought “who was I to judge,” if my heart was an open book what would people really see? I know I need God every day. So how do I enter the conversation?
The dichotomy here was that the first man who described is exploits told a story of growing up without a father and having to raise himself. He concluded that he was worried about his children and how they would turn out. Later I asked him if he felt he was being the kind of father his kids would be proud to follow. There is no guarantee our kids will follow us, but are our lives attractive enough that our children may want what we have? Was he setting the example he wanted his kids to fallow? Life comes at us and all we can control is our reactions to the serendipitous circumstance we face, good choices. He decided he had to charge his cell phone and off he went. Though my life is not like his we did have something in common… love of children and concern for how they will grow and mature. God help me to make the right choices…
The second fellow was traveling alone as his wife passed away two years ago from a horse riding accident. He described the horror of receiving the phone call and having to make the hard decisions that come with a loved one suffering a several brain injury. I was choking up inside as I told him I was sorry to hear that. After listening I shared about how my father passed away two years ago suddenly. This man decided to do something about his grief. He writes poems. If you want to read them here is his link: www.florineandjohn.blogspot.com. Though my life is not like his we did have some things in common… pain and some level of singleness. Now you have to hear me, on this one. I shared that one of the greatest things I miss due to extensive travel is the ability to touch. Yes, that’s right, touch. This is a powerful sense. Almost half my present life I am away from home and the thing I miss is the ability to touch. I realize that singleness is hard. Married people come home to their wives and children but singles go home to empty rooms and quiet. This man also struggles with this too. Again I realize the gift I have, my family. God help me to love with all my might…
So, now that I am back in the United States and with my family during Christmas of 2009 I am thankful for the gift of family. I wonder if this was what God wanted all along. So He cancelled our trip and allowed me to share some of my life with two other men and hear their story too! I trust you God to maneuver my life.
The three men in this story all need your prayers, the first man who seems all about himself, man number two who is seeking healing and intimacy, and man number three who is seeking God’s continued leading. Pray for us all. I am reminded of how needy we all are and how the Father of all life is so willing to give His life to us. God, help me to want you…
This is your investment. This is your joy.