Friday, February 10, 2012
The winter storms that had locked in most of the eastern states that day had caused airports across the Midwest to be either locked down or to be on long delays. My flight had been waiting since dawn, but finally we had boarded and in late afternoon were arriving in Wichita. I was in a cheap seat at the back of the plane, as was a young couple with five month-old twins, a four-year-old, and all the necessary baby seats and carry-on luggage needed for such a journey.
It had been a stress-filled flight for them, with babies crying and the four year-old being a bit of a pill as she pushed her limits with her parents and nearby passengers. All of us who sat nearby already knew her as “Amy.”
As passengers rose to exit the plane, the young father balanced the twins while his wife attempted to carry all the carry-on luggage and coats. They had the situation admirably under control until Dad became snagged near the front of the plane and Amy took the opportunity to investigate the door-handling buttons.
We all gasped as we watched her little round fist form and begin a downward motion toward the big red button that seemed to control the access tunnel. Just as we all thought both parents were going to attempt a lunge for her, even with their arms full of babies and cargo, out of nowhere came a grey-haired grandma type that scooped Amy into the access tunnel and engaged her completely in a window view. Before Amy could protest, her parents were alongside and again in control, grateful that someone had been there to help.
I have had moments in my life when I felt just as helplessly out-of-control as those parents did at that moment. No matter how we try to keep control over every situation, life often takes an alternate route, leaving us in need of support and help, even though we aren’t always aware of it.
While God is our mainstay and our guide, when things get rough he gave us helpers – our friends, neighbors, family, and yes, sometimes grey-haired granny types that can take control. If you are ever tempted to say you can handle your problems alone, you’d best get over it. Use the human resources given to us and accept help. They are God’s gift to us. An old philosopher once said “We are each of us angels with only one wing. And we can only fly embracing each other.”
Or as Jesus said, “Love one another.” When we do, we are never alone.