I traveled recently. I travel a lot these days. Not always my choice. God directs and I go.
The message last night was from Psalm 139. Wonderful verses about how the Lord knows everything about me and how I can't go anywhere without being in His presence. Verse 2 says, "Thou understandest my thought afar off". God knows my thoughts even before I think them. How awesome is that? I'd never thought of that verse that way. So encouraging. And He directs my paths and goes with me. Always. He knows the way through the wilderness. Good thing, because I sure don't. And all I have to do is follow. And so I go.
There was no little check on my boarding pass on the day of my travel. So, I was going through security the old-fashioned way. Computer out. Shoes off. Getting some part of my body patted down because there was a shadow. (Happens often. I tend to wear more clothes than other travelers. Lol!)
There were two security lines feeding into one body scanner. It was early morning. Things were busy and a bit backed up. And you know that belt that feeds your stuff through the x-ray machines? How it doesn't always pick up the next item? Sometimes things need a little nudge.
My stuff was on the good side. The TSA worker from my line stood right there and kept things moving. (Thank you, kind sir.) The other side had a crazy lady. She stood right next to the belt where the stuff fed in and screamed if it didn't feed. "Someone needs to get over here and get their stuff moving!" The poor person who the stuff belonged to had to get out of the body scan line and go give their stuff a push onto the next belt. People were aggravated. Openly. They asked (loudly) why she couldn't push things along. "Not my job. Your stuff."
You know, now that I think about it, the airport is a lot like the DMV. It doesn't take quite as long, but at least at the DMV you're not required to make an appearance like the emperor with no clothes to get in. And both places tend to make folks a bit...hmm...perturbed.
The lady behind me in the body scan line was one of those called out. She hollered back at the mean TSA lady. Yikes! That kind of exchange always makes me a tad bit uncomfortable. Suddenly, I'm six again. So, they exchanged a few words and then the lady behind me shouted:
"Lady, the problem is not us. YOU are the problem. YOU are NOT NICE!"
Just then it was my turn to get into the machine and hold up my hands. I've never been as happy to have a privacy intrusion happen to me as I was on this day. Anything to get me out of that scene.
On the other side of security, with my flip flops back on and my computer put away, I found myself walking with the lady that had been behind me, as well as her friend. And then, of course, next thing I know, I was conversing with them. (Kids, be quiet!) They were having at it. 'That crazy TSA lady was getting paid well. We, on the other hand, had paid good money for the privilege of subjecting ourselves to such abuse. This was an outrage!' All valid points, so I agreed and laughed with them.
But then I said something that made them look at me like I had two heads. I said that maybe we should go buy a coffee and take it back to her. They kindly laughed a little but I know they thought I was a lunatic. Perhaps I am. I then lost them in the crowd on the shuttle. Or maybe they lost me. :)
Growing up, when my kids would come home sad because of a rude or mean remark from someone in the world (or church or Christian school!), I would always tell them the same thing. Imagine for a minute what it's like to be them. How sad and broken they must be to be so mean. They weren't born bitter like that. Bad things have happened to them, and they are not doing well with them. That could be us if we didn't have the Lord. They need to know Him like we do. Go be nice to them and show them.
Proverbs 12:25 reminds us that "heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad". Hebrews 3:13 tells us to "exhort one another daily." To exhort is to encourage. And then, one of my favorites:
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” ~Ephesians 4:32
I didn't have enough time before my flight to get that coffee and take it back to her. But she reminded me. Someone reminds me nearly every day. We never know what someone else is going through. Whether they are wearing a smile or are being mean. Everyone has pain. Everyone needs the Lord.
Where in the world would I be without Him? Writing that gave me goose bumps. He is so very good to me. There is joy with Jesus, no matter what the circumstances. Even jail. Maybe we will talk about that next.
Is it any wonder that I love Him? Without Him, maybe I would be the bitterest, meanest woman you ever met! :)
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