Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Waiting: folly and triumph

Afternoon sun caresses golden all the way down the long, south-bound road. I love this highway, and would rather drive south to the small Montana airport, than north to the crazed hub of central Alberta.

Police pull over speeders, and I remember back to when a limit was finally fixed for drivers in this state. I stop to fill my tank with American-priced gas, and wipe translucent insect remains from my windshield. Road is quiet, traffic is fast, and open spaces bid the heart dance in their security.

I arrive late, and rush to the restroom, fearing an awkward moment of recognition, reunion, followed by a rude interruption from Mother Nature.

I stand at the baggage claim, searching faces, scanning heads and shapes of bodies. Maybe she too is attending her needs, or coming from the upper story.

A purple-blotch faced Grandpa glides down escalator. A dutchess-carriaged woman walks to the conveyer with glassy stride. A motorized wheelchair puts in front of me. Families cluster around baggage carts. Couples wait for missing items. Friends embrace and joke. All around me pleasant bluster swishes, but I wait, apart from the celebrations, stoic and poised.

Another flight comes in. More people, more faces, more expressions, more amusing travel outfits. But she is not there.

And I wonder if I am waiting in vain. I recall the flight time and day. I am supposed to be here, now. I don’t have her itinerary, and am too embarrassed to ask at the counter about a friend whose departure and connecting airports are unknown, and whose flight number is a mystery. I chide myself mentally.

I guess I just assumed everything would be fine. But it’s not.

One more flight, then four hours till the next arrival. Surely I won’t have to wait that long!

Finally, I turn on cell phone, accepting the fact that I’ll be charged for roam in a foreign country, and call home. She’s been delayed, and can’t come now till tomorrow night.

All this way for a delay. But I’m not going to stay 27 hours in a strange city, with nothing to do, and no need to binge a whole day at cheaper American stores. So I purchase a smoothie, buy some clothing articles for my siblings, and head home.

The next day, she calls from her plane seat. She got on a standby flight. I leave immediately, heading down the three-hour road. And joy meets me on the way.

A worship CD sets my heart delighting, and I have to remind myself not to close my eyes in praise while driving. I pull up to the border stop, and the same guard from yesterday greets me, and we laugh and balk together over this predicament.

I arrive again, the airport is quiet today. I walk up the stairs, and she is there, more beautiful than I remember, my dear friend, in the flesh.

Today, we embrace, and laugh, and talk purposeful and deep. After all, we’re operating on a day less than we planned.

And in the end, waiting wasn’t so hard, because I knew what was coming, and it was worth the wait.

“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.

My soul waits for the LORD more than those who watch for the morning—yes, more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” Psalm 130: 5-7

1 comment:

Christy L said...

You bless me, Clover! That time with you and your family was a highlight of the year! Though we both were perplexed when the flight was canceled, it was good to mutually trust Him and receive the gift of fellowship in His time...how sweet it was. Miss you!

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