Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On praying on airplanes.

These last four years I've flown in and out of NYC a lot. My plane-ride prayers are different now than when both of my clasped hands could fit neatly into one of Mom's.

It's not so much now "please don't let us crash or get lost" (quite literally--I used to marvel that the pilot never had to stop and ask for directions at a refueling station or something)... Sometimes now I pray for that great city as it shrinks below my window. Should I not love it? Surely it's not so overwhelmingly out of control from Your side of the sky. In fact it is quite small and still shrinking... What is NYC that You are mindful of it?

Or sometimes I pray, LORD ready me for where I am going. Because whether it's Naperville or NYC I have variously felt trapped--crap, why did I get onboard?--a lamb to the slaughter.

Today though as UA 835 lurched away from O'Hare, it was simply, Thank You Jesus for staying beside me, for staying with my heart.

My heart that sometimes needs airplanes in order to remember that He's there beside me. But He is kind to remind me. You always stay. I was moved to grateful tears that He would comfort me this way at the beginning of this vision trip, there is nothing else, no greater vision, that I need to glimpse but the face of Him who says Take heart, do not be afraid, it is I.

It was enough to settle yesterday. A thousand yesterdays. But yesterday in particular, was not a celebration of freedom for me, but a day of eating, drinking, and being... sorry? Quite possibly the weepiest shakiest 4th of July ever. The Independence Day that laid bare my misdependent heart--divided over many losses and the heartbreaking incompleteness of relationships. I ran to and from the wreckage, through which You stay beside me. I know I am Your choice. There is joy beside You, so thank You for yesterday. For making me Free.

Grateful for the hugs hankies and prayers of so many sending friends. Ellen Carissa Steph Christina Jessica Pearl Selina Danny Charlie Mike Jerry Jon Rebecca James Andy Jimmy George Michael Larry Franklin and the ones who will forgive me for leaving them out. Who have seen how the last month has emptied me. Who will see how the next month will fill me.

Christ commissioned, "Go... I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matt 28.18-20)... so here I am. Shanghai airport now, Singapore tomorrow, Kota Kinabalu the day after, Sandakan Sabah... Coming because He invites me, going because He is with me always. May every move we make be made toward Him, to be with Him, to see the One who stays beside us, Emmanuel.

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