Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way Out of Town..

Howdy y'all - I'm in a hotel room in North Little Rock, on Mark's laptop (he being my main squeeze and beloved compatriot in madcap adventures for the past 23+ years) ... fingernails sliding all over the keyboard, LOL!

Thought I'd give an update, sorta like "You Are There...!"

(Now I'm dating myself -- is that even allowed in Arkansas?!?)

We got up early yesterday, and settled the household (no easy feat), and drove up to the airport (1.5 hour drive). While in line for security, we talked about how Mark (a frequent flyer) always looks for Paul Young (author of "The Shack" - another frequent flyer, and a friend) ... I looked around, uncannily thinking that there was someone there I knew (found out later that a woman I knew in a "Shack" discussion group was there, way behind us -- she didn't want to holler, as TSA doesn't always take kindly to such disturbances, so she emailed me instead).

Our itinerary was plotted to give us a boring 2-leg flight, with a quick 45 minute layover in Denver.

However, in Denver, we learned that we had an unexpected 3-hour layover, due to a mechanical failure -- the door wouldn't shut. Lessee .... waiting 3 hours for a door that will shut vs. flying immediately and being sucked out of the plane ..? Ok! My first thought was a flash of annoyance at the inconvenience, but quickly morphed into, "Hmmm... I wonder what manner of adventure God has in store for us here?" Looking around, I made quick note of a Jewish man (clearly an observant Jew) within striking range, as well as a young man who looked remotely like Chris Rock ... I kept stealing glances at him, but had to quit, lest he think I was on the prowl (well, I was, but of a spiritual nature!).

But first on the agenda - a potty-break. En route back from the restroom (wherein nothing adventurous occurred), I saw a man reading "The Shack" - near the beginning. I bee-lined over to him, and asked if he was enjoying it. Recovering from being startled by this stranger swooping down upon him, he smiled and said it seemed good -- had picked it up for some "light reading" while flying - bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaa! Man, had God pulled a fast one on him, or what? I encouraged him to keeeeep reading, and to not stop 'til he was IN the Shack! I noticed that when I went for potty-break #2, that he was no longer there; whether he got on a flight, or was hiding from me, I shall never know...

Back in my seat, I asked the Jewish man if he was heading home, or away -- he said home ... that he had missed his previous flight, and now had to wait another hour for his next connection. He's living in Philly, but is originally from Iran ... he fled right before the Shah was disposed. The conversation went from there ... about Mark being Jewish, about leaving church, about how he (our Iranian/Philadelphian friend, not Mark) had to pretend to be Muslim (including learning the Qur'an) as a boy, in order to survive ... about religion vs. relationship ... about how to relate to God in various ways ... after a couple of hours, he told me that I was a rare soul, who dares to think and believe, and that I clearly practiced the "religion of God" (high complement from this gracious and grace-filled man). We exchanged email addresses, and book recommendations, and then he realized that our chat had caused him to miss his connection - again! Now he had to wait another five hours! I apologized profusely, but he smiled and said, "it's the will of God - this was very worth it." I plan to stay in touch with him...

We then had to board or own flight (door intact - yeah!), and flew to Little Rock ... at the baggage claim, I noticed the same Chris-Rock-look-alike standing next to me (providentially) ... since we had about 15 minutes to kill, I asked him where he was from (Medford Oregon, where I lived in 2nd grade - likely before he was born!) ... asked him what he did there. Turns out he's a comedian (but of course!), en route to a comedy show here in Arkansas ... he gave me a business card, and I told him that when he's famous, I'm gonna get rich auctioning it off on eBay -- no pressure or anything! He laughed and said he doesn't sweat it, that he just enjoys what he does, and doesn't worry ... I said, "well, when you're at peace with life, good things come to you," He brightened up, yelped, "I'm glad you said that," and pulled out one of Eckhart Tolle's new books from his bag ... I mention that I loved "The Power of Now" which he then produces out of his jacket (like a shady salesman, LOL!), dog-eared and clearly read repeatedly ... so we launch into a nice chat about new awarenesses, and growing up within Christianity ... how we've shifted -- LOL! What fun conversations! What adventure! I also told him about "The Shack" (which someone had recommended to him the other day, but of course!), and how it would bring the whole package of his childhood faith, and what he's now learning ... full circle fullness.

Wonder what other manner of adventures God has yet-in-store for me here...?

Enjoying life wide-eyed, and open-armed ...

Shalom, Dena


Darcy said...

...all while I was at your house without the van that would allow me to travel around with all sorts of little people and be the Fun Aunt.

So, we walked.

Is it true that Gabe has not crossed the street by himself to walk to the corner market?

by the way, the kids were very good. I'm not sure what kind of a break Micaela as she is helpful even when she does not need to be helpful. She is a good one - keep her.

Elijah will need to come up for a visit to make things with Andy. We'll chat about that later.

Fly safe...and welcome home.

graham old said...

Just found your blog, so I thought I'd pop in and say, "hi!"

Dena said...


Thou has found moi! You were sorely missed at T2009! I'm honored by your presence here ... been praying for your wholeness, from head to toe (particularly on that eye!). Soon as I can figure out how to link various folks to me, and me to them, I shall plug you in here!

So much to learn, before it becomes obsolete (yeah, I sat in on Frank's talk - whew!).

Love you much!