Today, on the flight to Dallas, I was sitting on the plane in my own little world. Listening to my music and looking out the window. All the other people I knew were in other rows. I was only half listening to the 2 people beside me. I thought I heard the lady say something about her husband dying in Afghanistan. Of course, it peaked my interest. I turned off my music and began to listen to what she was telling the man on the other side of her. Sure enough, I heard right. He was in active duty and died fighting for our country just about a week ago. Her and her family were on the way to Salt Lake City for his funeral service. This was so fresh to her. So raw.
I just sorta froze and didn’t know what to say or do or even if I should continue to listen to what they were saying. She kept talking about her husband. She kept talking about their short lived marriage together. They were only married for 9 months. He was deployed just 5 short weeks after they were married. I didn’t know what to say to her so of course I said the usual, “I’ll be praying for you.” Which I will but that seems so “common” or insincere these days. Everyone says that. I say that and don’t mean it sometimes. But I wanted to mean it and I wanted her to believe me.
We talked some more. I told her all about my trip. About the orphans. About the need. We talked about jobs, places we’ve lived, things we’ve done. I’m sure it felt good for her to just talk and not about death or funerals. We both kind of closed our eyes to doze off and I couldn’t relax. I couldn’t quit thinking about her. I cried for her. I realized how many times I completely forget about the people fighting for us. And, I knew I should ask her about her faith.
I told God that I would when we woke up. But, I couldn’t relax. I looked over and her eyes were still open so I nudged her. I asked her when his funeral service was so that I could put it in my calendar and remember to pray for her specifically then. I then just asked the question if she was a Christian. She said she was. She said her family was. But I could sense confusion or uncertainty. I told her I didn’t know how people would survive what she was going through without their Faith and without the Lord. I prayed for the right words to say. She told me that she had struggled with her faith her whole life and that she finally gave in to the Lord through this ordeal. I could still sense that uncertainty. I told her I understood why some people would be angry and upset with God in situations like this. She told me that she was angry and that she didn’t understand why. I told her I didn’t know why either but the thing I knew was that God was there with her through this. She told me that she couldn’t figure “religion” out. She has family that are Mormon and some that are Jewish. She explained that she didn’t understand how some of them were right in what they believed and that some of them were wrong. She expressed how she couldn’t imagine how she would go to Heaven and her family that are Jewish or Mormon would not be there. She is so confused. I explained that first and foremost it is giving your life to Christ and having that relationship with Him. That religion is not what gets you to Heaven. It’s the relationship and how the Bible is how God talks to you. How He guides you. And how that is what you should focus on first and the rest will fall into place. Loving God and loving others and all the rest will ultimately fall into place.
The man on the other side of her piped in and we all talked about religion and faith. It was such an interesting conversation. We all thought a little differently but all agreed on some things. I am glad that it didn’t turn into a debate. We all listened to one another and told how we felt. I really pray that she understands now HOW to be a Christian. The Lord completely checked me back into reality of this war. Of the people over there sacrificing their lives for US. Of all the families, (wives, husbands, children, parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc) giving up their loved ones to take care of us. It is so easy to focus on one thing. My vision lately has been glued to El Salvador and orphans and in that I’ve forgotten about the other things breaking the Lord’s heart and breaking hearts of people all over the world. I am so glad that the Lord allowed me this opportunity to talk with her. And glad that He opened my eyes to things that I forget are going on. What a good way to start out the week!