Monday, November 10, 2008

Making Connections

My husband travels quite a bit. He always takes a book with him on the airplane so he does not have to talk to people. I don't get out much and take a book with me on the airplane just in case there isn't anyone to talk to!

On the 2nd leg of our return trip from Hawaii, my husband and I were not seated together. I was on the very last row next to a pleasant looking woman and a quiet guy that I assumed was her husband. I'd been on a plane since 10:30 pm the night before and wasn't quite sure how my appearance or breath was holding up so I was not my usual talkative self...until I noticed the reading material on her lap.

A couple of years ago, a dear friend hooked me on the fiction of Karen Kingsbury. I've read most all of her series books and had recently purchased, Sunset, her last book in the Sunrise series about the Baxter family. I had saved it for poolside and beach reading knowing that it would be an uplifting and entertaining read during my vacation. I finished it on the last night of our stay.

As I settled into my assigned seat on the airplane, I saw that this gal next to me was reading a previous book in the same series by Kingsbury. Now Mrs. Kingsbury's books have a straightforward Christian message and are filled with God's promises from scripture brilliantly woven into the story line. It was a good chance that my seatmate was a believer but I did not want to make assumptions. Before the pre-flight instructions were given I broke the ice and asked if she was a fan of Karen Kingsbury books to which she answered in the affirmative with a sweet southern drawl. A southerner! I knew we'd have a good conversation then!

However, as the flight attendant's helpful (but already heeded) instructions rambled on, sleep deprivation overtook both my seatmate and myself and our conversation gave way to hopefully silent sleeping. It wasn't until the last 30 minutes when we awoke and were able to resume our conversation. As we maneuvered through the generalities of where are you from, where are you going- etc, we found out that we both had been in Hawaii to celebrate birthday milestones (hers a few years short of my 51 years), that we both had 3 children (hers much younger than mine and all still at home) and that we both worked in church ministry. Once the ministry word was spoken it was a free for all discussion of the challenges of balancing family and ministry, being a woman in ministry, and seeing a ministry through changes and challenges. It was a brief conversation but we made a connection and I hope that it was as encouraging for her as it was for me. 1 Peter 3:15 admonishes us to be ready to make a defense to everyone who may ask us to give an account of the hope that is within us. I'd like the way The Message phrases that verse:

Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.

I'd like to think that I would make the best of any opportunity I have to interact with other people wherever those conversations may take place.

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