The Delta flight from California to Atlanta was long, bumpy, and, candidly, quite boring. I was on the way from Ontario to New York. The best price/time combination brought me to this moment of wondering if it was worth the hassle. The attendants had been attentive. Their gift of a large bottle of water helped. Yet, sitting in the middle seat for several hours was not my idea of fun.
We landed, uneventfully, and then sat, engines running, on a live taxiway. After a full ten plus minutes, my seatmate turned to me and said, “This is the worst part of a trip”.
We share far more with each other than we realize. Her comment triggered a reflection of the hours the three of us had spent together. Everyone was bored. One dealt with it by playing games on her computer. Some appeared familiar. Yet, she sought the comfort of several news one – referring to the instructions and hints so she could play. The other mixed reaching a book she did not seem to really like with watching TV that she really did not seem interested in. Both were looking for something that they did not have. I slipped in and out of sleep, checking our progress on the moving flight monitor every once in awhile.
We were searching for something that we did not have.
Life is often like this. Each is on individual quests, searching for more in common than we realize or admit. I know that I long for good news. When I hear how “they were sent off and on their way, they told everyone they met as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria about the breakthrough to the non-Jewish outsiders. Everyone who heard the news cheered—it was terrific news!” (Acts 15.3) I am curious, what happened behind the good news? What was it all about? Could it still exist today?
In my experience, when compassion touches my life a powerful transformation occurs. It is a compelling experience. It is universally compelling. It begins when one allows compassion into your life.