By Curtis K. Shelburne: Guest columnist
I just saw something I thought I’d never see — but this week I’ve already seen a wad of things in that category.
I’m presently in the air over northern Africa. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a light flash on outside the window. The captain of our British Air Jet had flicked on the landing lights. It was most certainly not time to be landing. But just then I also saw off the port wing, far off and low enough not to raise concern, another aircraft flying in the opposite direction. Then a moment later, the landing lights went back off. I’d bet my last British pound that it was a wink. I didn’t know they did that.
Juana & I are headed to Uganda—we’ll land in Entebbe in a couple of hours — to see our sons there. Even before we left, getting ready for the trip was a lot like life; some of it was harder than I thought it would be or should have been, and some of it surprised me wonderfully in the other direction.
After we left, I wondered if we’d get out of Texas — not that I’ve seen any other countries I like better. (On a double-decker tour bus in London yesterday we drove past the Texas Embassy; it’s a restaurant, but once there was a real one in London.)
Tornadoes cancelled our flight to Chicago while we sat on a plane in Dallas. After some major re-routing (the options attempted included Cairo or Paris or Zurich or Nairobi or Johannesburg or Addis Ababa), an American Airlines ticket agent, so good she could almost work for Southwest Airlines, got us re-ticketed late that night and helped us get a discounted hotel room in Dallas. We got to the airport the next morning at 4:30 a.m. to head to Boston, then New York, then London, with a day and a half longer layover than we’d planned, and luggage gone, well, somewhere.
Bureaucrats everywhere would be proud of the customs line in London. But we later got to take that tour bus outing and ate lunch at Covent Gardens, having taken the Tube from Heathrow. Then we got to see the inside of our eyelids for fourteen-plus hours in a hotel I booked online from New York.
Today, after discovering that the ticket agent in Dallas forgot to give Juana her actual ticket (I still like the gal), praying, meeting a gracious BA employee, and then having our hearts defibrillated, we took the Heathrow Express and the Tube to see Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, etc.
In two hours we’ll be seeing the sights we really want to see — Stephan and Josh.
Life is a journey. Some of it is hard that by its very nature, I suppose, must be. Some is hard that shouldn’t be. Some is wonderful beyond description. And God really does walk through all of it with us.
Hey, we just winked at another plane over Africa!