Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Smacked in the Face

I don't like flying. There really is one main reason, and it's not the fact that I suffer greatly from motion sickness. I don't like flying because I don't like airports.

This past weekend I made a whirlwind trip to Ohio and found myself spending about 5 hours in various airports. During my lay overs, I was confronted head on with "the world". I realized how much of a bubble I live in, not really intentionally, but simply because I am a stay at home mom who goes back and forth between school, soccer practices and the pool. I encounter other stay at home moms who do the same things and for the most part, we are so consumed with the lives of our children that children are all we talk about.

But, in an airport, everything changes. All of a sudden, men and women put their every day, normal lives behind them. Most people I saw were either racing home from a business convention, or on their way to an exotic vacation. I know because they talked so loudly!

When did we become a society that enjoyed having everyone around them hear our conversations? Was I supposed to be impressed by the man next to me shouting to his buddy across the isle in the terminal how his plane was delayed and he might miss his cruise ship? Oh,and don't forget to throw in about half a dozen expletives in that one sentence! Or, how about the guy on his phone talking so loudly I could even hear him while I was using the restroom! He was going on and on about how much money he was going to make that month, how the chick was was with last night was so blank hot and how blank-blank hungover he was now.

Women can't wait to sit down and read their gossip magazines. People drink in the airport bars on Sunday mornings at 8:30am. Parents are screaming at their kids - some even have their kids on leashes!

In Detroit, the gate was changed from A12 to A57 - granted a bit of a walk to make it to the next gate. But, we still had over an hour before boarding the plane. You wold have thought the airline stewardess had just asked half he passengers to cut off their right hand! The amount of swear words that flew out of the passenger's mouths were unbelievable! Complaining - and for what reason? Did they think they could get the gate changed again? Were they really that upset about walking a 1/4 mile down the concourse?

Joe has always said "Airports are Godless places," and I saw it for myself this time. I saw married men hitting on married women. I saw men take off their wedding rings and slip them into their pockets. I heard more foul language than I think I have heard in a year (minus watching Gran Torino with my husband last weekend).

I got back to Wisconsin, just in time to attend the 11:00 service at Elmbrook. The No Regrets worship team was gearing up for their first song and within minutes, the entire congregation was belting out a worship song to our savior, Jesus! It was obvious that everyone was "into" the worship this morning and the music was loud, the singing even louder, and the faces of all who were sitting around me were smiling. I started crying and leaned over to Joe and said, "I am home!".

Home to me, at that moment, meant being in the presence of God in a place filled with worshipers. I came home to a place that honored God, wanted to know what He has to say about life, and enjoyed the fellowship of other believers. It was a small taste of heaven for me. I felt that God gave me a special gift; he let me see the world and then he let me see the beauty of worship.

What has struck me to the core since my experiences in the airport is how much God loves those people! He does not want me to judge those people, shaking my finger at them and turning away in disgust. His heart breaks for those consumed with money and gossip and all the other enticements of the world. How He must weep when so many chose to worship other gods. And he reminded me that I am to love those people.

My life over the last few months has to be characterized as a time of learning how to truly love. I have been "even like the pagans" who love the lovable! But, as a Christ follower, I am called to love the unlovable. It is one thing to read that command in scripture, it is another to live it. While I am hear on this earth, I can tell that God is asking me to devote the rest of my life to working on this command. I am to learn what it means to truly love the way God loves. I think it will take the rest of my life to learn that.

1 comment:

MzzLily said...

Oh, what a hard lesson that is! I know He says even sinners love their friends...

I have a friend that lives near the Amish. I told her I thought it would be so awesome to live in a community where everyone shares your beliefs. Just think... Go to the grocery (or airport) and not hear foul language. Everyone is polite and speaks of what a blessed day they've had.

But here we are. I will try really hard to love them.