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Hard Things

BY REV. CORY L. KEMP |

We all have travel stories, some smooth, others not so much.  Mine was the former until the last leg. A two hour delay leaving Green Bay was overcome by a two hour delay on the connecting flight at Chicago heading back to Cincinnati.  

Things were coming together, until they began to unravel and fall apart.  

Consider a long taxi to the gate, a forty minute pause on the tarmac waiting for the gate to be cleared, and a whole lot of construction inside.  Consider seven rows of people ahead of me trying to get off the plane, into the corridor and get to where they were going too. By my observation, most of us were tired, hungry, and thirsty.  Who was I to think I was going to get through all of that and still make my connection?

But, also consider these things.

An unspoken agreement among fellow passengers to research and share information on flights, available accommodations when hope was lost on making a flight, and airline crews working with every available resource at their disposal to help as many people as they could with efficiency and care. 

In all of that, I shared my concern, that being partially sighted I needed a map in my head, good directions and a clear path to make a run for my gate through the airport construction, carrying about thirty pounds of luggage.  As long as I knew where I needed to go, I believed I could make it in time.    

It was then that Alexa, the woman in the seat in front of me, said, “I’ll run with you.”  

And so she did.  

Photo by Olu Gbadebo on Unsplash.

We raced straight out of the causeway, into the corridor, headed left and didn’t slow down for a good block and a half, weaving our way through the crowds, before I needed to notch down to a really fast walk.  Alexa checked her watch: I had four minutes to make the gate before they shut the door.  

Then, she grabbed a wheelchair.  

I hopped in, threw my bags on my lap and grabbed her bag to pull alongside as she pushed and ran.  

Throughout our journey she chanted; “Running, running!  Waling fast, walking fast! Wheely chair, Wheely chair! Excuse us, excuse us!”  We moved; people eased out of our way. And because of her support, I made my connecting flight home with time to spare.

A couple of days after I got home, the Daily Text shared this reading: “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” God said, “I will be with you.”  Exodus 3:11-12   

While most of are not positioned to go toe to toe with an entitled tyrant in order to lead others to freedom, you and I both know hard circumstances that demand what we feel least capable of summoning up and applying in the moment.  

Quite frankly, there was a point between the dead heat run and the speed walking in which I wanted to give up.  But, I could hear Alexa chanting, so I kept going. And I thought of sleeping in my own bed, snuggled up next to my cat, Sienna, patiently waiting for me to show up as promised.

And, during that forty minute pause on the tarmac, waiting for the gate to clear, I had prayed to get home that night.  Since God had clearly answered my prayer in Alexa, I knew my part was to believe, and take action on that belief, that getting home was within my grasp.

Sometimes you just need to remember, God said, “I will be with you.”  Sometimes you just need to listen for God’s voice, chanting, calling, leading you to exactly where you need to be, right on time.  And, once in a while, right on time with time to spare.

Photo by Ross Parmley on Unsplash.


About the Author

Photo courtesy of The Rev. Cory L. Kemp.

The Rev. Cory L. Kemp is founder and faith mentor with Broad Plains Faith Coaching. Cory, employing her signature Handcrafted Faith program, supports ordained and lay women leaders in visualizing, understanding and strengthening their beliefs, so that they may know, love and serve God and their communities with generosity, wisdom, and joy.