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The Weary Traveler: Anything Can Happen on a Plane

September 8, 2010

This past week I boarded a flight from Denver to Atlanta to work with a good friend (Reggie Britt) on a company transition for a company he owns, so what is the first thing you do when you get on an airplane? You look to see who is sitting next to you, and for us overweight people that can be a real issue. God was smiling on me that day because sitting in the middle sit next to me was a beautiful blonde haired lady who was very thin. “Thank you God” was immediately racing through my mind; thin is good, pretty is just a nicety. As we sat on the runway, I noticed she was extremely nervous. She was a pretty lady, blue eyes and blonde hair, but at this particular time stress had completely destroyed her persona. I gently asked her if is she was okay after she performed the sign of the cross. She just looked at me with those piercing blue eyes and shook her head “no”. She was in trouble. I leaned over gently and whispered in her ear, “It is going to be okay, I blessed the plane and I am a Christian Counselor.”

The pilot hit the thrusters on the Jet engines and soon we were barreling down the runway. Immediately, this terrified woman grabbed my left hand and locked ours together. I was shocked and not really sure what to do, but I knew she needed me. If anyone didn’t know us they would have sworn we were a married couple. My fingers begin to glow this color between red and blue; she just couldn’t squeeze hard enough to release her tension. I use to ask, “Why does this stuff happen to me”, but not anymore. We held hands for over thirty minutes after takeoff. To say it was awkward was the understatement of a life time.

I finally decided I had to help her relax, so I begin to teach her a Buddhist breathing technique I picked up about ten years ago. Soon I was coaching her to focus on her breath as it slowly entered and exited her nose. You couldn’t write this kind of script in a movie; I felt like I was in a old Seinfeld episode. and that I would probably wake up soon. I could feel the tension leaving her arm and hand, and she slowly let go of my hand. It was an amazing transformation. She told me that the only reason that she was flying was because her grandmother was dying in Birmingham, and they had called the family in to say goodbye. She told me she was once in a plane that had to make an emergency landing in Macon, GA , and she had not been on flown since. I recognized the courage that she possessed as well.

I am sure many of you reading this have had all kind of thoughts. Many men would have gone sexual immediately, because she was a beautiful woman. Many women probably think I crossed a boundary, and shouldn’t have done what I did. Others would have written the woman off, and changed seats. Others would have just been freaked out, but what this woman needed was a man with strength, courage and with the wisdom to do the right thing. You see my calling is to “encourage others”, and again God was putting me in a position to use my strength.

As we landed, I could see the tension begin to build, so this time I reached over and took her hand in mine. She squeezed, but not as hard and we landed without a hitch. A sigh of relief came from deep inside her soul. After we exited the plane, she turned and gave me a big hug and said, “Thank You”, and she disappeared into the crowd. I felt this deep sense of purpose that we only get glimpses of in life, but wish we got more. I don’t know what impact I had on her life, or if my encouragement changed this woman, but I know Jesus was there, and she was cared for in a way she never expected before she got on that plane.

Thanks for making my day Rhonda! Thanks for showing up again God! I love you!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rhonda permalink
    September 8, 2010 10:56 am

    Mike,
    We are both encouragers – amazing! God places us with the tools we need just at he moment He wants to use us. I had a similar experience over the weekend with the family I visited and when I went to California to visit my brother with AIDS. There was a military couple on the plane. They had 3 kids. The enlisted man had the two preschool/elementary age boys in another section and I sat next to the mother with a very active baby. I had left in my purse a snack that I had planned to eat and my keys. To make a long story short, the food went to the kids to help with their ears, the chocolate bar went to the parents to split, and the keys entertained the baby for a long time. I was amazed at what God had done with the little stuff that I had, but He used it to help someone else. I told her to thank her husband for his service to our country and that God would take care of them when he had to leave again. I didn’t get her name, but maybe I’ll see them in heaven. God is good all the time. Sometimes we have to break through and above the clouds to see the sunshine. Have a great day!

  2. September 15, 2010 9:47 am

    Mike because God knew he could trust you to represent Him he sat you next to that lady!! Thank you for being available to be used!! What gifts God has given you and what a great steward you are!! Keep on keeping on!!

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