I read a novel about middle class disillusionment the other day.
90% of the book was probably hot air.
But there was one part I haven’t forgotten.
One of the characters muses that we secretly thrive on the hustle of airports because for once in our lives, we actually know where we’re going. It’s printed on pieces of paper held fast in our hands.
I read that and had to wonder to what extent it’s true.
As a student the world is supposedly my oyster. So why does this world leave me hungry for more?
Maybe the constant presence of evil has something to do with it. Between plane crashes and extreme terrorism, this earth can feel like it’s spinning out of control. I’m not the type to have flying anxiety but after recent headlines, I found myself in Heathrow carrying a bundle of nervous energy. Instead of feeling confident about my final destination, I felt sick.
I scrolled through Facebook because that’s just what you do. Of course that wasn’t exactly therapeutic, so I went to the bible app.
In John 20, after Mary encounters an empty tomb, she runs around frantically until she bumps into Jesus, alive and well. She is so overcome by her emotions that she doesn’t notice him. “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?'”
She continues to worry and so he speaks again. I can imagine him looking at her with complete kindness and love, gently shaking his head at her frazzled heart. He says, “Mary.”
That’s it. Just, ‘Mary.’
You can almost hear the calm fall over her.
And tonight, as I boarded my plane, he spoke through his creation, catching my attention with the lingering colours of a sunset. The steady beauty of the skies tugged at my heart like a whisper: Amy. The voice said.
Amy, I am with you and I will not forsake you.
Even now, as I look out the window, His brilliance lights up the night. Have you ever seen the sun set twice, once on earth and once again in the clouds?
I have felt unsettled all day long, but watching the heavens from a plane high up in the sky, I have found peace.
This world is a scary place. Even when we are sure of our destinations, things can still go wrong. Plans fall through and people fail. Darkness is a reality.
Yet Easter – resurrection day – is a reminder of all that is right. Jesus overcame darkness with a death so full of grace. He did it because he loves you and me.
From my bench in Heathrow, I kept wondering if all those passengers are content with who they are and the places they are going. More importantly, do they know where they’ll go after life finishes? When they breathe their last, are they spending forever with a God who is desperate for his children to love Him back?
I don’t know. But Jesus, before his death, said to God, “‘As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.'” (John 17:18, ESV)
We are so intentionally placed on earth for good and we are invited to spend eternity in heaven – not because of anything we have done but because of who Jesus is. He is my strength and my joy – the biggest cozy sweater when nothing else fits quite right.
I’ll fly with him as my co-pilot any day.