Thursday, October 4, 2012

Heroes in Airports

Whenever I fly, I always scope out my fellow passengers.
I look around to see, in case of the always feared crashing-into-a-deserted-island thing, who my comrades might be and who might have the best survivor skills.

I always hope for a Dr. Jack Shephard, and probably secretly a Sawyer (just to keep things interesting). Naturally, I'm Kate, aside from that whole fugitive thing. It's a romanticized world of how things could play out in case of emergency. Unfortunately, you only get a limited view of people as you walk by them in the aisles, trying to avoid hitting them with your excessive amount of luggage. There's really no way to gauge from these momentary glances who might be a true hero or heroin. Mostly I see the back of heads, listen to snores or crying babies, and avoid being leaned on by the sleeping man next to me.

I think about this more when the plane goes through the inevitable turbulence. It's the kind that causes your heart to drop a little and forces you to look out the window, certain that you will find a wing shredding to oblivion. I often think, 'This is it. It's my time to die." In my make-believe-world, I think that I would be calm...but in reality, I know that panic would surge through every fiber of my being. In the moments of turbulence, I am calm.

Flying is always an interesting experience- from the airports, to the people, to the flight itself. On my last flight, I was in the airport for 8 hours before departing. I cozied up in a chair next to an electrical outlet and found a plethora of ways to keep myself entertained via the 'ol macbook and the world wide web. And then, out of nowhere, a man came up to me.

It's what every girl dreams of, right? To meet a strange, mysterious man in an airport... a man who is good-looking, charming and in need of a computer charger? He sat down with his laptop, and I handed over my charger. He was chatty. I found out that he was from New York, heading to Miami and that he was a fashion designer. He designs costumes... for carnivals. Being the incredibly ignorant person that I am, I muttered a few polite 'uh-huhs', but he saw through my nods and smiles.

'Have you heard of that? Do you know what it is?' my face remained blank, and so he decided to pull up a few of his designs on his computer for me to see. Oh... (if you don't know what these 'costumes' are, you are free to google it). Soon after, he looked me up and down and said, 'Would you ever consider wearing one of these?'

We were clearly from different worlds (in fact, he said so himself)...but I didn't know how to respond to his question without making him feel like it was the most preposterous thing I'd ever heard. I wasn't sure if it was a subtle come-on, or if he was just curious, or if he wanted to do business with me. He went on to tell me about the endless parties each night and morning, and I simply soaked it all in. Friday night party, Saturday morning party, Saturday night party, Sunday morning party and then on Sunday afternoon is the Carnival and then that night they party again. The next day they'll recuperate a little before heading on to the next one.

I asked questions, because I was so intrigued...but not enough to appear too intrigued. It was a moment of, again, realizing how little I know about the world around me. After several minutes, he wished me luck with my future, and ran off to catch his flight.

It was a brief moment in an airport, but it felt significant.
How, in a few minutes with a stranger, do you ever tell them the reason for the hope that you have without coming across like a Bible-beating maniac? Are we supposed to tell everyone we meet, no matter what? Do we feel guilty when we don't?

I don't feel guilty... but I am curious. What is our responsibility to share, and what is simply an excuse to not? Is it more about taking opportunities as they arise? Or, might you consider every interaction with someone an opportunity?

I'm curious about what your personal convictions are in this.
How do you rationalize not telling everyone you meet within moments of meeting them... or do you?
How do you bridge the gap enough to tell someone who has no understanding of where you come from and them where you come from in a way that even makes sense? How do you get there in a few minutes?

Do we even think twice about these brief interactions with strangers?
I'll admit that sometimes I don't...
But, I think I need to.
And I think I need to be more bold.
Perhaps, while just an arbitrary person on a plane or in an airport, I might be able to point someone toward the real Hero.

Lord, show me how.

* * *

Your entries will remain anonymous

1 comment:

  1. I think that we need to take every opportunity we can to share to Gospel. The harvest is plentiful, and the workers are few... I think that that is applicable no matter where you are. BOLDNESS is the key to the Father's storehouse. When we are perfected in His love, we have no fear, because perfect love casts out fear.