Just before my airplane took off for Salt Lake City this morning, I had a very interesting encounter at the airport.
You see, sometimes I’m a cheater . . . especially when I’m traveling.
Who knows what I did with my headphones/earbuds, but since I oft listen to sweet stories at bedtime, I had to buy some at the airport. Sitting down outside Gate 7 in the only open seat, I began reading the earbud instructions, when I realized I was sitting next to a young man who could likely find the charging jack in his sleep. Why take more time reading when I could just cheat and ask this kid?!
Reminds me of a time I was in Jerusalem and needed some cash. I struck out from my hotel on a cold, windy afternoon, heading for the bank. In short order, the ATM dispensed shekels, not American dollars. (duh) ‘Excuse me,’ I asked another cash getter, ‘could you tell me where I could exchange this money?’ He pointed me to a money changer a few blocks away.
Pulling my scarf tighter around my cold ears, I scurried toward my destination when suddenly I realized I did not know the value of the bills in my possession. Uh-oh, the money changer could easily take advantage of my ignorance . . . what to do? ‘Excuse me,’ I touched a nicely-dressed, college-age looking guy crossing the street alongside me . . . ‘could you help me a moment?’ He and his friend stopped on the sidewalk to assist this American damsel in distress. I fanned out the bills in my hands and said, ‘Could you tell me how much money this is in American dollars?’ In moments, he supplied the answer. I thanked the lads profusely and scurried on down the street, holding my dress to my sides so as not to give Marilyn Monroe a run for her money. (‘You know you could have figured this out on your phone, right?’ he had asked. I just smiled and thought, ‘now why would I do that when I can just cheat and ask someone who readily knows the answer?’)
Back to Long Beach Airport. . .
‘Hey ‘scuze me,’ I leaned over, ‘could you show me where the charging port is on these?’ I held out my earbuds. ‘Sure,’ he responded, uncovering it in seconds. ‘Thanks a lot,’ I said. That’s all I said. See, I was going to leave him alone, leave him to his own reverie. I promise.
‘So, how’s your day going?’ he asked, with an interested look on his face. Proffering a short answer, he asked me another question. Guess he wanted to talk, inquiring where I was going and why.
‘How about you – where are you heading?’ I returned the pleasantry.
‘Sacramento – I’m heading for my last hematology appointment,’ he proffered.
‘About to get good news, are you?’ I asked.
Truth be told, he had me at ‘hematology’. I knew that this was the divine appointment I had asked of God early this morning, so I listened interestedly as Corbin continued to pour out information about his life. Diagnosed with a rare bleeding disorder at age seven, ‘for 12 years, I have been in and out of the hospital … more sick than well.’
‘Besides that,’ I’ve almost died violently four times in the last two years. He described being struck by a car while riding his bicycle; passing out at the wheel of his mom’s car, and rolling it, landing upside down in an irrigation ditch filled with water; then falling asleep at the wheel and totaling his own car in another accident … dang.
‘That’s three, how about the fourth?’ I asked. It took him a minute; he swallowed, ‘Yeah, well heartbroken by a breakup with a girl who had made me promises, I didn’t want to go on living…’ his voice trailed off.
‘Boarding Section C,’ I heard loudly behind me, so my polite listening had to be cut short … ‘Corbin, do you have faith in God, by chance?’ ‘Well yeah, I do, but I was raised Mormon and I don’t really believe all that anymore; I know there’s something, I know there’s Someone.’
‘Oh, Corbin … yes, there’s Someone! There is a God who loves you, a God who has saved you from a bleeding disorder and four very close calls . . . and you are just 19 years old! Corbin, God saved you because he has a PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE. You are meant to share that life with people you meet – just like you did with me.’
‘I can see that,’ he said slowly, nodding his head and stroking his sparse goatee, ‘yes, I think I see that.’
I prayed for you right now right here?’
‘No, I wouldn’t mind at all.’
And so I prayed for a good-finding report at the doctor tomorrow in Sacramento. I prayed that God would heal him and continue to reveal himself to him.’ We exchanged phone numbers, and I ran onto the airplane, the last one to board.
Check it out: Corbin had flown from the state of Washington (where he lives) and somehow was diverted all the way south to Long Beach en route to Sacramento. Unusual? Not at all. Because
I’m called. You’re called too … God has a unique purpose for you. Believe it. Ask him to reveal it to you, if you're unsure.
p.s. you might want to look out for the girl that leans over and says, 'hey, excuse me . . .