Witnessing His Plan

Middle seats are not my favorite places to sit. But there I was—squeezed between two passengers on my way to Orlando for business meetings. Unable to sit near any of the five ladies I traveled with, I resigned myself to a flight more stressful than I had planned.

Riding in airplanes is not my favorite way to travel either. I would have gladly traded a ten-hour trip by car to central Florida over this one-hour swooping though the skies. Nervous and scrunched, I quickly eyed my fellow travelers. On my right, in a window seat, a middle-aged man smiled at me. Oh, I hope he doesn’t want to talk. Non-stop gabbing sometimes gets overwhelming. I’ll be stuck here and obliged to “entertain.” Thankfully, he joked about slow service, opened up his newspaper with a dismissive jerk and turned slightly away—with not another peep out of him the rest of the flight.

The lady on my left, in the aisle seat, seemed pleasant enough. About forty years old, blond and solidly built, she too opened up her newspaper and started reading page after page.

Whew! Thank you, Lord. You know how stressed I get taking a plane. And it is warm in here. I got out the fan I always keep in my purse and started cooling myself.

“Oh thanks,” my neighbor lady said, “it’s so warm in here.” I smiled in response.

When will we take off? If I can just get past that, and the air conditioner kicks in strong, I’ll be OK.

I laid my head back and breathed deeply—praying and trying to relax, wondering how my friends were doing. No way can I get up now and switch places with someone. I hope we have a safe flight.

Once the plane took off, it was not smooth sailing. I wondered how such soft looking clouds could create such a bumpy ride. I was just too agitated to read the book I brought. What will I do all this time? I don’t want to bother my neighbor on the right; he obviously wants to be left alone. The lady on my left is intent on her paper. I can’t interrupt her reading.

But, Lord, you have plunked me down in this spot—a once-in-a-lifetime chance to speak to one of these two about you…. Well, maybe this time, it’s not your will that I speak. Would that be a possibility, Lord, in your great plan for my life and theirs?

Finally, the little luncheon arrived. Down go the trays. We sit up straight. I pass one over to Mr. Right.

“I’ll have a gin and tonic,” he says to the hostess. I wonder if that calms his nerves?

“I’ll take a Coke, thanks.”

A quick comment to Mrs. Left: “The sandwich is good and fresh.”

“Yes,” she says. “Where are you headed?”

“To Orlando, for meetings. And you?”

“I’ve come from Indianapolis. Going to meet my husband at Disneyworld. He’s been down there on business. Now we’ll take a few vacation days together.”

More crumbs of chitchat and lunch was finished. The hostesses moved through and picked up our plastic glasses and plates. The plane started on its slow descent.

Out came Donna’s paper again. But now, we “knew” each other. Lord, only another twenty minutes and then it will be, “Nice meeting you!” What can I say? Will you open up an opportunity for me to tell this nice young woman that you are important to me, and that you love me—even on a day like this when I feel weak, fearful, and even selfish. And…that you love her too?

I peeked over to catch some of the headlines. Israel was in the news again, and Iraq. “There’s so much war around the world,” I ventured.

“Yes,” she replied, “but as a Christian, I believe God has everything under His control. He has a reason for everything that happens, even when we can’t understand.”

Stifling a gasp, I fumbled, “I agree with you. I’m a believer too. Yes, everything that happens to us is in His plan…”

…even this lesson in witnessing, Lord. Was Donna also praying for just the right opportunity to mention your name? Was it her prayer you answered, or mine? I can’t help but smile, Lord. What’s that You said? It sounded like, “Gotch ya!”