Claire at Gate 28 (Stranger Conversations - Devotion #1)

This April fool's day, the computer glitch at the Denver Airport that cool September afternoon was no joke.   90 minute delays were anticipated.   My typical traveling companion was ready to fill the silence.  I leaned over and grabbed that favorite Canadian partner -  a blond natural elements Seagull acoustic guitar. Standing up,  I explored the space around my seating area, easily comfortable making eye contact with nearby passengers.  An elderly man with a gray haired woman sitting next to him appeared interested.  "You gonna play for us?"    

"As a matter of fact, I am."  After singing my own humorous rendition of 'Leaving on a Jet Plane' with the words adjusted to reflect our delay (and a silly line about airport singers) the bemused man smiled. "I like your lyric changes."    

"You wanted to sing along?  Sorry.  Any chance you are a Veteran, sir?"  I asked.   Turns out he had served in the United States Army for three years.   My handshake and words of gratitude were appreciated.   "You might know this one, then" and I crooned  'God Bless America'.   They both smiled as I loitered next to them for a while strumming randomly until my instrument went back in its case.   Taking a seat next to the woman,  I breathed a sigh.  She finally spoke.  "It's been quite a travel ordeal today."   

"Good material."  I said.  Her confused expression prompted me.  "I lead women's retreats for a job, and have one with a flight theme.   We discuss how delays and re-routes are possibly The Pilot trying to teach us something." 

"Could be" she replied.  "I have learned that I just need to be patient and go with the flow, since I can't do anything about it."  Something inside my spirit squirmed its way to my voice box.  "Well, I know the master Pilot loves you"  I blurted.  

"He loves you too," she responded.  Most conversations stop here at a resolve that sits on the surface, pleasant and somewhat unobtrusive.  But something inside me stirred my attention and whispered a prompting full of possibility.   "Do you know my Jesus?"  It was bold.  Maybe over the top, but... without hesitation, she stated  "I am not sure who He is.  I've actually been questioning His divinity.  I believe he was a great teacher, but I don't really know about the rest.  I attend a church and sing in the choir, but I - just don't know. " 

I waited - willing my mouth to stay shut and my ears to lean in hard.   She continued,  "My daughter wanted to have a long talk this week about it.  She has the same questions I do.  Neither of us have the answers."   

Prayer for gentleness echoed in my core.  "I believe the answers are in the Bible.  Do you read it?"  

"Not much these days" she admitted.   

The next instant,  we were interrupted  by the steward announcing it was time to board.  Her husband stood up quickly.  "How about I pray for you to find the answers?"  She nodded.   I asked her name and she told me.  I assured her I'd have a conversation with the One who knew.   Then they were gone.   

I acknowledged the blessing that perhaps came because of our delay.  One little link of a whole chain of moments, questions, and connections that Claire and I would experience as we make choices, take chances, and exchange words with strangers.     

Scripture reflection:  Mark 13:9-11 *How can we apply these verses to our own open doors?

Song reflection:  "LIving every season with courageous dedication.  Crazy thankful for the way that You've restored.   I've got a thousand reasons for a constant conversation, as I keep on running through those open doors."  from 'Bold' - W. Fluegge - Hear the song at

Consider: Has the Holy Spirit ever prompted you to respond in a certain way or with specific words?