I was in Atlanta Airport this morning getting ready to fly back to Dallas. I had gone to Atlanta for some training and was ready to return home. I got to the airport early and grabbed some breakfast. I had not quite finished my coffee, so I decided to sit down in the lobby area in front of security and finish it before I had to go through the screening area.
I had my carry-on bag and briefcase with me, so I did not want to try to juggle coffee going through security. As I sat down, I noticed a lady sitting across from me. She was minding her own business. Soon, a gentleman came and set next to her. I assumed they were married, but they were engaged.
We struck up a conversation, and I found out that he was dropping her off. She was traveling to meet her son in Texas, and that he had just come back from Afghanistan. I asked how he was doing and she alluded to the fact that it had been a bit of a struggle for him to adapt to coming home from the battlefield.
I told her that I had just heard one of my fellow co-workers give a testimony of the struggles he had in coming back to civilian life. When he spoke at our National Convention, he had everyone in the audience crying as we listened to him recount seeing two of his close friends get killed in the vehicle he was riding in, and he was spared. He also was part of a group of Marines that was first on the site where a U.S. helicopter went down, and everyone on board was killed. All that was left were body parts and small pieces of the helicopter spread out over the battlefield.
He recounted how difficult it was coping with the things he saw, and he drank to excess to deal with it. When he got back home, his wife had to tell him that it was not normal to cut people off in traffic, then pull them out of the window and beat on them.
We all sat there spellbound listening to him bare his soul to us. His voice cracked several times as he struggled to let us know what he endured just to get to where he was today. Wow. Talk about going through the fire. Yet, he survived, and even though he is still healing from the emotional trauma, he IS healing and learning to acclimate himself back into society.
I told the lady I met that I had something for her and her son. I told her that I was a motivational writer and I wanted to share my blog site with both of them, that it might lift their spirits when they were having a difficult day. Then I asked her if I could pray for her son. She said I could, so the three of us sat in the middle of the airport, holding hands, heads bowed, and I prayed over her, her son, and her fiancée. Hundreds of people were all around us, but it was almost like we were oblivious to the noise at that moment. When I got though, tears were running down her face. I knew that God had sent me to her.
Her fiancée was not going on the trip to Texas. He was just dropping her off, and she was nervous about finding her gate. I asked her what gate she was going out of, and it was very close to mine…leaving around the same time (imagine that). I offered to escort her through security and to her gate and she was very grateful. I laughed as I looked her in the eyes and said, “Isn’t it funny how God put us together? He knew you were nervous about this, and He sent me from Texas to escort you to the gate.” I hugged both her and her fiancée when I left them, and I marveled at how God works.
Little things do matter to people. Don’t miss the opportunities that God gives you every day to lift the spirits of someone. That made my day, and apparently it made theirs too!