Outside, the sun is shining. Here, in the Land of the Sun and the Beach, there’s a chill in the air. My thoughts turn towards home. Home, where the wind blasts true-cold about the house, over fields. “Chilly?” I think. “It’s all relative.”
In the bustling Tampa airport, we wait. Arriving early, we’ve spent time together, savoring our mochas from the Place That I Love, right there in the middle of the airport.
Now, I’m walking across the concourse to where Beloved Mister is waiting. It’s not quite time yet to check in. I sit down beside him, BOP at my side. And he says, “I think that girl over there is crying.”
Glancing over, I see her. A young, slender woman sits there alone. I watch for a moment. She’s dabbing her eyes. For a bit, I consider it. Then the nudge comes. “You go.” And so I arise and I go. Dropping to one knee, I look up into her face, and I say, “Are you okay?”
There are tears in her eyes, staining her face. Deep distress is written plain, pain drawing her features. “No, I’m not. But that’s okay. Thank you for asking.”
The Hand’s still on my shoulder. And so I say it, “What’s wrong?” And like that, she spills it out. Her boyfriend of two years has abandoned her. Left her alone in this far-away town, texted to say, “I am coming.” And never came.
She’s weeping again as she tells it. “I can’t believe he would do this. I just can’t believe it.”
My heart! Oh, my goodness. She’s paid for her ticket; she’s taken time off from her job up in Michigan, and now she’s been left here, abandoned.
She’s dabbing her face, pain all shaped like tears, and now I’m leaking them, too. This could be my girl, alone, far away, deep-hurting, unsure, heart clean broken. And so I do the only thing I know to do. “Can I pray for you?” I say to this beautiful stranger.
“I would love that!” She says it fervent, means it sincere.
Her first name, when I ask her, is Courtney. So, putting my hands on her, I take it straight to the One Who Loves Most, Friend Jesus, and I tell Him about my friend, Courtney. I ask Him to keep her, to help and to bless. To guide her feet and to comfort.
Her tears, they keep falling. “Thank you so much,” she says. “I’m a Christian, too. I can’t believe I haven’t been praying about this.”
Ahh, Lord. She’s more than a friend. She’s Little Sister, and He’s sent Bigger Sister to help. To lead her straight to Friend Jesus. To remind her of hope and His love.
I look up into her face once more and say the words He’s given me to say. “About your boyfriend. I don’t know if he’s a skunk or if he’s in trouble, but I do know this–that there’s a hope for you on past this here, no matter how it turns out. You’ve not been abandoned or left all alone, for a loving Heavenly Father never does that. A loving Father doesn’t leave us. He’ll guide your feet; your future is bright.”
“Thank you so much.” Her gratitude is real, but mine, perhaps, is far greater. For I know, really know, one more time that He loves us. That He loves others, too, and He uses our arms, ears and lips to remind them.
I’m walking away, now, to Mister who’s waiting. I’m thinking of Father and how He’s just answered my prayer for appointments ordained. I glance back one more time. At Courtney, striking beauty and Friend of the Father, who’s wearing her own BOS. Bright. Orange. Scarf. And I smile.