Stuck at the Airport


The airplane accelerated for takeoff, and I braced myself. Faster, faster, faster… Suddenly we were slowing down, screeching to a halt. As soon as we started slowing down during the takeoff strip, I knew something was wrong. I turned to look at my mother. She knew it, too.

An announcement said that we would have a routine checkup for the engine. We taxied to the gate, and every ten minutes, the pilot would inform us that it would be another ten minutes. My dad joked that we would be there for hours, being told “ten minutes” every ten minutes. Finally the pilot told us that the engine and the back-up engine both needed repairs, that it would be at least two or three hours, so we should get off the plane and take all of our belongings.

As we sat at the airport stranded, my parents said that at least we wouldn’t miss the wedding. We flew in two days early to see family and attend the rehearsal dinner. My parents speculated that if we had stayed on the plane, we would be dead by now.

Even while disembarking the plane, people were angrily pushing and demanding their rights, as if the pilot were God and intentionally messed up his two engines.

I was tranquil. God wanted me here, or I wouldn’t be here. I looked around to see if I was supposed to minister to someone. Everyone looked preoccupied and busy.

The airline told us they were repairing the engines, and it would take two or three hours (it took six). I slipped the book I was reading out of my bag and started reading.

“Did you ever notice that Jesus gave thanks before breaking the bread and feeding the 5,000?” I asked my mom. “Daniel prayed three times a day, giving thanks. We are commanded to bring our petitions to God with thanksgiving.” I paused and quietly gave thanks for the broken engines.

The gray-haired woman across from me was looking at me as if I were an angel. She smiled, and I smiled back. For hours, we had small chit-chat, then I would continue to read my book, showing my mother another verse about being thankful. I knew that even though I was speaking quietly to my mother beside me, the woman across from me was hanging on my every word. I was tranquil in my soul and I had joy.

We were given $6 vouchers to eat dinner, but since I had already eaten, I got my parents coffee. I was trying to explain to my dad how to dance, since my sister said he had the first dance. He said he would just stand there and sway. “You can’t just stand there, Dad. The spotlight will be on you and the bride. Look,” I said, standing up and swaying from the ball of my foot to the other. “You can get away with doing this.”

The people in the coffee shop were all staring at me, too. The intercom announced that our flight was ready for boarding again.

At the wedding two days later, my dad did great with the first dance. All eyes were wet when my sister laid her head on my dad’s shoulder as they were slow dancing to the Carpenters’ song, “Close to You.”

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4 Responses to “Stuck at the Airport”

  1. “God wanted me here, or I wouldn’t be here.” What an amazing outlook in the midst of what could have been a nervous breakdown! What a beautiful way to help us learn to keep our cool! I’m glad your dad was able to sneak in a quick dancing lesson before the big day! <3

  2. Julie says:

    Sitting the airport, you ministered to more people than you realized. Isn’t it such an opportunity to witness where ever we are? At all times, people are watching us. Are we being lights for Him?

    • Susan says:

      We should always try to shine Jesus to the people around us, being calm in the moment and connected to His Spirit. God will show us what to do in each situation that He has pre-ordained.

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