Allowing 3 hours to get through security during the government shutdown was recommended. Being the rule follower that I am, and being averse to running through airports to catch planes, I arrived 3 ½ hours early to be on the safe side. Ten minutes after arriving I was through all check points and at my gate…with 3 hours and 20 minutes to spare. The good news is I found a little table in the back of a café with plenty of time to write to you. Whenever I go on these trips I try to keep you my friends and supporters informed. Internet access doesn’t always allow me to post everything I write while I am gone, but I do make the attempt.
Today, I am sitting in the international terminal surrounded by foreign languages and faces of all colors. Classic rock is on the speaker above my head. Sweet tea and fried okra are on the menu. (Have you ever tried to explain fried okra to a Korean who doesn’t speak English? I have.) I must say it is a bit surreal.
In a few hours, I will board a plane and fly into tomorrow. I will be above time for many hours and the things below me will fade. I’ve always found flying gives a unique perspective. It makes me feel small to see all the tiny human things shrink to invisible. Clouds take on their own personalities above the ground and sunsets last forever. If the Earth below me is a speck, then I am less than one. Yet, my mind is capable of multifaceted wondering thoughts, and my body is like a complex chemical factory. Intricate. A seeming contradiction. Something so small in scale compared to the vastness of the heavens, yet still so elaborate that God knows the number of hairs on my head.
I can’t help but think of how huge God is. He is both here, within the crayon box in which I am currently sitting, and out there where the sun doesn’t set. He is among us. I see him in you. I see him in the man next to me who decided against friend okra. I see him in the twins who cried through the security line and their frazzled mother who just needed an empathic hand. I see his eyes in the old woman from somewhere in the “old country” in Europe. I see him in the tall African American baggage handler who works in the cold. God’s essence is everywhere I look, in each person I see. Each of us is created in his image, after all.
Yet when I am above, in the clouds, I see his handy work there, too. He is above time. He doesn’t fit into our small schedules or little buildings. Up in the sky all this stuff down below seems unimportant somehow. Clocks don’t exist. Minutes are forgotten. Ticking seconds are silent. In this world, His world, the small things are, well, small. The things that seem so big to us, the things that keep us awake at night and cause us to medicate ourselves, are hard to even see from His viewpoint above time.
I often pray for the Father’s eyes. To see as he sees, and on this trip, it is my heart to be present in the crayon box, and above time in the stress-free heavenly places where the worries of the day fade away into the sun and clouds.
Only 1 hour left…