Love, Friends, and Airports

Need a little loving?

I don’t necessarily mean the romantic kind, although that counts too.  We’ve all been through times when we just need to feel loved.  A hug, a kind gesture, a listening ear, even small loving things can turn a bad time around.  God knows your heart and your needs, and He will provide for you.  And what’s more, God knows the needs of your friends and family and even faintest acquaintances, and He can use you to make a difference in their lives.

For God, who said “let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts… 2 Corinthians 4:6

Sometimes the very best way to love the people in your life is to get out of the way and let God take charge.  When God directs our hearts, the results can be increadible!  Last week, God helped me to love and care for a friend in a totally unanticipated way.  The experience reminded me just how much and how well God loves us.

Tuesday started like any other travel day for me.  I was up early (too early!) to have a quiet time before heading to the airport.  Pretty normal stuff, except that I had an overwhelming feeling that God wanted me to be there for a friend in need.

Have you ever felt like that?  I just couldn’t shake it.  I prayed for wisdom and discernment.  I knew of one friend having a particularly bad week, so I assumed it would be her.

Not in a million years would I have guessed God’s real plan for my day.

My first flight was basically uneventful, but I found myself deplaning with an unheard-of two free hours before my connecting flight.  As a side note, I HATE “free” time in airports.  If I have a long layover somewhere I almost always have a scheduled call or meeting or planned work to do.  But not that day.  I started to make my way up the escalators to catch a train to switch terminals, when I felt this urging: go back.

So, at the top of the escalator, I turned right around and went back down.  I made my way back to my gate, asked the gate agent about earlier flights (no luck), then turned around, and that’s when I saw her.

My old roommate from business school was standing right in front me.  I hadn’t seen this friend in over a year, but there she was in the airport terminal, and she had been crying.   She was having a terrible day, capping off a terrible week, in a difficult month (you know the kind).  Everything (and I mean everything) seemed to be going wrong and she had just been stretched to the limit.

Inwardly, I praised God’s providence.  Here I was, in the right place, with time to kill, ready and able to offer the love and care that my friend truly needed.  God is so good!  I spent the next hour and half talking, crying, and laughing with my friend.  Before I left, I whispered a short prayer in her ear.

She was the one who “needed love” that day, but what a blessing it was for me to experience God’s provision for her!