Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 NLT
Sometimes, we invite folks into our lives and really can’t remember how they got there.
I saw her headed to the bathroom and thought she didn’t look well. By the time she reappeared, everyone who wasn’t going on to Chicago had deplaned.
Inadvertently I had blocked the aisle as I stood and stretched. It had been a long day, and I faced another three hours on the plane.
“Are you waiting for the bathroom?” she spoke-shouted.
“No, just stretching. How are you?”
Because we were close together, I felt I couldn’t let her pass without at least a question, a word, or a hug. Something.
“What can I do for you?” I asked.
She told me she was air sick. I moved to a safer distance. Then she explained she was traveling to a funeral. She didn’t want to be on three flights to get there, but she was doing it for her friend.
This woman whom I had momentarily cast as loud and perhaps nauseous was a brave and compassionate soul. I applauded her.
Jim Elliot said, “Wherever you are, be all there.”
I was not excited about chatting with my elderly friend for the entire plane trip. But missing her story would have been a mistake. She encouraged me in ways she never knew.
I was tired, but my destination was home, family, love, and rest. Her destination was beside a friend and a casket.
Life is a bottle to pour out. We always have the choice to taste sweet in the bitter . . . to find joy amid the pain if we choose to see, hear, and be present.
I told my new friend to be brave. I told her how much I admired her and offered her my peppermint stick to soothe her motion sickness.
All there is the act of being aware of God—being brave in the face of whatever we face. It is knowing the joy, the true heaven-sent joy, of realizing He is there, even if we don’t want to be.
Tweetable: In what ways are you being all there?
Cathy is a writer, teacher, and entrepreneur. She met her husband Brian while studying in Paris, France. They make their home in Geneva, IL, with their four children and their daughter-in-love. She loves writing about the wonder and whimsy of life and her love for Jesus. Her first book is Destination: Fierce, Moving from Fear to Fierce. Learn more about Cathy at www.cathyjoyhill.com.
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