I don’t know their names but their behavior had a strange echo. I didn’t see them at first; I just heard the commotion and turned with everyone else to see what was happening. Tensions are often frayed for the Sunday morning flights from Chennai, India. The airport is small and there are three large-body airplane flights that leave between 4am and 5:30. Given that I was checking in at around 2 am I could easily project my tiredness on everyone around me. However this scene was unusual, even for India.
There was two characters, plus tired and spoiled children to add some twists. Evidentially everything that could go wrong had and as the scene unfolded one knew that things were only just beginning to build! One was quite wealthy, at least as one measures wealth based on externals and first class tickets. The other made his living through service. From his clothes and mannerisms it would appear that he had frequently seen the harder side of life. Now he was responsible for everything! The fact that they had to wait in a queue to have their baggage scanned was his fault. The fact that the tickets were hiding fell within the scope of his job. The fact that the first class line was tucked into the corner was something that he personally planned.
Fortunately he was not going on the flight. I wonder if he has ever experienced mercy, compassion, and acceptance.
“The wicked who oppress the poor are like a hailstorm that beats down the harvest.” (Proverbs 28.3)
As I reflected on the scenes on the flight home I caught vignettes of myself in the lead role. I know I felt I was justified at the time, I understand that there were mitigating circumstances, and often there are two sides to a story. Are these the best answers we have for the poor?
My resolution is this.
To the poor in spirit I offer hope.
To the downtrodden I offer compassion in action.
To the outcast I offer unconditional acceptance as a human being.