Wednesday, August 26, 2015

the man on the plane....

This is going to be difficult to write because when the words were forming in my mind, a lump was also coming to my throat.It is about something that I thought would never make it to my blog but, as often happens, this now seems to be the most important moment of the trip.

We were in the airport in Amsterdam waiting stand-by for the early flight which had been open with empty seats.Then they announced it was over booked and offered money for a person to get off.Oh,No! We were so ready to go home.We waited and watched people boarding.Then I noticed a male employee pulling a young man aside.The man was in his late 30s, medium build with auburn, well kept, hair and casually but nicely dressed and he was weaving.The employee asked him if he had been partying.I couldn't hear the rest but I am sure the young man was told that he would not be served on the flight that was boarding.The man never got hostile just did alot of nodding;then off he went to the plane and out of my sight.

With only minutes to spare, I was given a seat toward the front of the plane.When I saw who occupied the seat next to my empty seat, I was horrified.Those who know me, know the antipathy I feel for drunks, having spent my childhood haunted by them.With unconcealed loathing, I sat down.He turned and said hello.My "hello" was encased in frozen icicles with a brisk North wind thrown in.Undeterred, he asked if I was going home.My "yes" was the most clipped, shortest "yes" in world history.He got the clue and turned away.He smelled and I fumed.

Then, oh, then, it was as if a sweet voice whispered,"Sharon, what if he was your son?"You could hear my heart crack in Toledo.Yes, what if he was.How would I want some old lady next to him to treat him? Minutes later, he fumbled to put some trash in the pocket near him and kept missing.I helped him and he turned and stared.I said:"I'm trying to help you."He smiled and thanked me.And when a steward came to get him to take him up front for a lecture, I helped take the blanket from his shoulders and patted him once on the back.Talk about conversions.

When we arrived in Atlanta, he was once again nabbed by Delta and hustled off, I don't know where.By then, I wanted to intercede and take him home. I had prayed the rosary for him on the plane.I pray again today and tears form.

Anger is such a common emotion.It makes you feel strong and in control.Compassion will break your heart.No wonder it is in such short supply.O clement,O loving ,O sweet virgin Mary,pray for us.


Murky Water said...

That sounds exactly like your oldest son on every flight! :-) thanks for the wonderful story! Love you!

kris spikes said...

Kindness is where it's at. :)

Anonymous said...

Our precious savior, Jesus, warned "judge not lest ye be judged..." We all make the mistake in viewing others-- not like us/who seem to repulse us-- by their 'sins'. However, we are also told "be not afraid to entertain angels unaware".
May we all be as tenderhearted as you were (eventually) to love the unlovely. Only God knows what demons caused him to become inebriated. Love changes lives!