Last Monday, while my city waited anxiously for the high winds and heavy downpours of Hurricane Sandy, I was driving to the airport with two large suitcases. However, I had no plans to fly that day. Instead, against all common sense, I was driving through the growing storm because I believed God wanted me there.
It all started the night before...
While checking my I-Phone weather app for a hurricane update, on Sunday evening, I began to wonder about the travelers who were undoubtedly stranded at our local airport. I imagined how awful the experience must be, helplessly stuck in that cold airport, possibly alone, and without your luggage, or maybe even any warm clothing, since the weather had so suddenly turned cold. A strong feeling that I was supposed to go to the airport to help came over me. I smirked at it, however, believing it to be just another of my wild impulses. (Sigh...I’ve had many of those, plunging ahead on the basis of my own perceptions and emotions.) After all, it was nearly 9 p.m., and I had only been home a few hours from having spent the weekend away with Warren. I was tired. Those of you who read my blogs know that becoming overly tired for a person who struggles with chronic severe pain is a recipe for disaster.
Having talked myself out of the crazy idea, I was sound asleep within the hour, safe and warm under my soft covers. I don’t remember praying for the stranded passengers before I closed my eyes to the day. call that I even prayed for those who were stranded before I closed my eyes to the day.
I awoke to a boiling grey sky. After making coffee to bring back to bed for my morning meditations, the sense that I was to go to the airport appeared almost immediately upon settling into my bible reading.
“Really, God?” I said aloud. (One of the common side effects of being alone most of the time is talking out loud, in case you didn’t know that. Or at least that’s what I tell myself...out loud. : ) “Well, okay...I have walked this journey long enough to know that when this happens in prayer, I’m supposed to pay attention. If it’s truly from You, and is not my own foolishness, please give me a confirmation. I want to be obedient, but I can’t imagine why You would want to use ME.” (...meaning ME, who is most likely to experience worsening pain from the storm--I expected to be unable to much more than huddle on the sofa by afternoon. And ME who is least likely to be out driving in a storm, because I get the willies when the trucks throw blinding cascades of water all over the interstate!)
Turning on the local morning news while pouring some cereal for breakfast, confirmation arrived before I had swallowed my first spoonful of wheat flakes and blueberries. As the screen turned from dark to light, the anchor woman appeared, saying, “After the break, we’ll be going live to the Richmond airport to get an update on those stranded travelers...”
I sighed a long slow breath, and turned off the TV. Although I now knew God did, indeed, want me to go to the airport, it didn’t make me any happier about going. I knew I couldn’t tell anyone either, because no one would support my belief that God wanted me to go. It was going to have to be just between God and me, which left me feeling sneaky and unsettled.
Once showered and dressed, I dragged down two large suitcases from the attic and walked around the house filling them with an odd assortment of old blankets and sweatshirts. I prayed for clearer direction, but felt only the tug to “go”, so having wasted as much time as I could hoping God would change His mind, I dug out my heavy rain coat, and heaved the bags into the tailgate of my Ford Escape.
Driving the 30 miles to the airport while the wind alternately tugged and pushed at my car, and the rain fell in sporadic spits and downpours, I took my first deep breath when the airport exit came into view. I parked my car (illegally, figuring there would be no towing on that day), wrestled my two bags out of the back of the car, and rolled them into the airport. Right away, a man standing behind an information counter called out to me in a voice that was a mixture of curiosity and weariness:
“Excuse me..Ma’am?” I looked over to him, and had pity on the poor fellow who saw me as a deluded passenger who thought she’d be flying out that day.
“May I help you?” he added, his downturned lips and knitted brow revealing how much he would rather not do so.
I thought to myself, “Show time!” and walked toward him.
Within five minutes I knew that my trip
had nothing to do with those suitcases,
and was for my benefit
as much as anyone else’s.
God’s workings are amazing.
....to be continued on Friday.
Note: In case you are wondering my story has nothing to do with the man I’m about to talk to...so don’t get ahead of yourself!
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