Angels Sitting Close

If you’ve been following us for awhile, you’ll remember that right before all this heath drama snuck in, we went to Fiji for a few weeks.   Tony always has folks looking to do his Anagaion course and we were delighted to hit the road again, meet with church leaders there and being able to preach and teach all over the place.

You may remember too, that because our daughter is a flight attendant for Qantas, we can fly ‘stand by’ for about half price.  Most of the time it works smoothly.

But not on this particular day.  We had to fly first down to Sydney to catch the 4-hour flight to Fiji. So, watching the internet bookings carefully, we were confident that we’d sail right thru.  There were people waiting to pick us up in Fiji, so we really wanted to make it on time as per schedule.

The Gold Coast check in agent felt the same way, so much so that he took our luggage and checked it right on through; straight to Fiji so we wouldn’t have to recheck it in Sydney.

Well, as things sometimes happen, the Gold Coast folks didn’t shut the airplane door right on time, so we missed our slot to land in Sydney. But everything was still fitting together, and we expected to make it to the Sydney gate with 20 or so minutes to spare. No worries, we still had a couple of hours. It’d be tight but we could do it.

I’m sure you’ve all been there, holding on to those “best laid plans of mice and men”. The second shoe to drop came with the announcement that, once we landed in Sydney, we’d have to transfer to the International Terminal. But no problem; there was a courtesy shuttle bus that runs every 10 minutes. We can still do it. Stepping outside in Sydney, we strode confidently, perhaps with a little more “spring” on our step than normal. There was the shuttle bus. We hitched up and headed for the open door.

No wait, my gentleman husband stepped aside to let some more frantic folks thru, even though I was punching his arm and pointing to my watch. You guessed it.  We arrived, went to check in and the lady, (who reminded me a lot of the medical receptionist I mentioned a few weeks ago) looked at us with a cold stare and said, “No…you’re too late.  You should have been here three minutes ago.” We begged, we pleaded (sound familiar?) but she wouldn’t budge.  Told us to go to a certain place to “wait for our bags to be offloaded”. I’m sorry, but wouldn’t it have been easier for us to jog onto the plane than for them to dig thru everything and find two innocuous bags and off load them?

As I sat at the door waiting for our baggage to come out, I noticed a little old lady sitting next to me. I couldn’t really identify much about her; her clothing wasn’t anything we’d wear, but this being Sydney, I wouldn’t know where to start in guessing what international destination she would call home. And then, to add to the intrigue, she seemed to be mumbling to herself. I unconsciously slid as far away from her as the seat’s arm would allow.

But then, my need got the best of me. I was upset, and someone needed to know about it. As it turns out, by now I was actually mumbling to myself as well; but here was an available ear, so I raised the volume. On and on I went with my rhetorical rant to this unresponsive human about the absurdity of making us spend the night at our own expense, the fact that it was only 9AM and we had all day to kill before we could even spend th……etc etc.  WHY couldn’t they just be reasonable, there were seats for us on that plane!  Two, in fact!. Finally I began to get it out of my system. Some degree of reason trickled back in and I sighed and said, “Oh, but God is Good”.

And from the little old lady next to me, immediately came a clear and understandable reply, graced with perfect diction,  “ALL THE TIME!”

I can’t quite explain how humbled I was.  We laughed and had a very nice conversation as we both continued to wait. I never did find out where she was from.

I seem to be asking myself on more than one occasion lately, “Why Me?” But God, thru the Bible and again this morning thru Oswald Chambers, has reminded me that everything that happens to me may not actually be FOR my personal benefit. (how spoiled and naive I am) God has His own plans, and once in awhile in His love and mercy, he allows me to be a part of them. In the process, He may even make me into something better than I was, but the circumstance that led to it may not have necessarily been just for my own selfish needs.

This cancer trip isn’t fun (We are doing well, though), but we realized this morning, we may have another tool available to us when this is over. Maybe we’ll be able to know how it feels to be scared, or to be patient when you don’t want to be, or Who but God Himself knows what else? I do realize that GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME even when it doesn’t seem like it.

Lord, thank you for little angels in the form of old women who can put me back on track.

You all have a blessed week!  Marsha

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