I have the coolest story to tell you.
So, on our way home from India we had three flights and a seven hour lay over. Clearly not our finest 24 hours. By the last flight, Brooke and I were cranky and tired and just wanted to be horizontal. (Funny how your body craves that)
About two-thirds of the way through our last flight I was waiting in line to use the bathroom in the back. There was a dark-skinned kid in front of me and the two of us were just standing in this really small space, you know the kind that makes you feel like you are way too close, but you really don’t have anywhere else to go and its totally awkward… it was that kind of space.
So, I just started chatting with the guy.
So, are you going home or for a visit.
He turned towards me and looked a little surprised that I was talking to him. And of course, I had my stupid huge grin on as if to say, yes, that is right, I am talking to you and we are going to make the best of the little space with a foul smell as long as we have to.
” Uh, no,” he responded in a thick accent, ” I am going to school in America. I have never been there before.”
Wow, like never, my eyes huge with surprise. (I know!! I say the stupidest things sometimes, but I did have an excuse. I was delirious from traveling and not sleeping. Whew… covered this time)
Do you have friends or family there?
“Uh, no. I don’t know anyone. My dad is with me and will help me get settled and them he will go back home.”
Okay, now you guys know how my big thing right now is that no one, I mean no one should be alone. Mother Teresa has totally inspired me and I’m on this kick that whenever I am given the chance I want someone to feel that they belong, that they aren’t alone, that their life matters and that they are loved. So, what did I do…. I doused the poor kid with like oodles of questions
Where are you going to school? What are you studying? Are you living in the dorms?
I learned that he is attending college about 30 minutes from where I live and that he is crazy smart. We kept chatting until the door to the bathroom finally opened and in he went. Now normally I would be focused on how awful it must have been to be the next one in line after someone who has been in the bathroom for well over 10 minutes, especially after eating airplane food, but my mind was elsewhere in this moment.
I grabbed a napkin and a pen from the back and I scribbled down my number.
Here , I said, shoving him the napkin as he walked out.
It’s my phone number. If you need anything, you call me. I’m not too far from where you are. Honestly, please call me if you need anything.
We parted ways and to be honest I didn’t expect to ever hear from him again. I thought, oh my gosh this poor 18 year old kid is going to think I am some crazy old woman and perhaps a weirdo.
But, I didn’t have to over-analyze my poor little brain to death too long because he texted me a few hours after we got off the plane!
Ahhhhh… I was so excited!
So, why I am telling you all of this…. because, dear friends, we had lunch today.
An 18-year-old boy from Kuwait. A 41-year old single mom from Pasadena. One Muslim. One Christian. We laughed. We shared stories of what our lives looked like.
And the whole while I sat there thinking to myself, I soooooo love this. This is sooooo cool.
Because it doesn’t make sense! Not at all. Nope. Not one bit.
If you want to know what I think God’s love looks like…. it’ s this. Seeing people. Not seeing labels or what looks right, or who we should be talking to or not talking to, but rather just seeing a need. That’s it. Plain and simple.
After leaving our lunch I received a text from my new buddy.
“Thank you for being my first friend in America”
And I jumped up and down in my seat. And I did a little dance.
You see, dear sisters, we were meant for more! No matter what season of life you are in, you are NEVER …
…. to step in and make a difference in someone else’s life.
Do I always do this? No.
Do I miss opportunities? Yep. I am sure I miss them everyday.
But, I want to do more of this. I do. It’s as if I hear Jesus whispering in my ear…
This is what I meant when I said care for those that are hurting. Care for those that need a family and don’t have one. Expand the walls of your family,d ear one, and watch what I bring your way. You, dear one, are meant to love others. You were. Tell them they are loved. Show them they are loved and in return, watch how well they love you.
You see, dear sisters, it is in these moments I feel my heart being cared for too. I had no children this weekend. They were with their dad. And I look at our lunch together and I am amazed how here in the middle of what I thought was me, caring for this boy, God was using him to care for me, to give me someone to tend to while my kiddies were away.
Oh, it could not look further than what I had envisioned. Yet, then again, it rarely does. Haha
I suppose that is when you know it is the Lord, dear sisters, when only he could have designed it. When we are caught off-guard by His love coming through another, weaving its way through a situation or conversation only he could have orchestrated.
I love how He does that.
We are planning a trip to the beach with our new buddy next weekend!!! I will keep you posted, but for now, pray for our new friend. Pray that God brings others around him to love on him and care for him.