Ponderings with Doug – November 23, 2018


Has God given you a hand to hold?

Ronald Greer tells this story:

“I was sitting in the Atlanta airport, waiting at Gate 32 to board a plane. Zones 1 and 2 were called; I stood, picked up my briefcase, and walked toward the line that was forming. As I passed a row of seats I heard a girl ask her mother, “Do I stand up now?”

Something about the girl’s voice got my attention. She was developmentally disabled. I kept walking, got in line, and boarded the plane.

I took my place in seat 7C. After I settled in, I looked up. There was the girl, coming down the aisle by herself. I was surprised to see that she was a teenager—she was so petite that she appeared almost frail. The seat in front of mine was hers.

Then “Animal House” boarded. A group of college students came down the aisle and took several rows of seats across from us. They were laughing, joking with one another, and having a great time. But above all else, they were being cool. Cool, you understand, was imperative.

Finally, the plane was pushed back and began taxiing. Ten minutes later the pilot announced that we were cleared for takeoff. He made the final turn onto the runway.

I looked up and saw that little head with brunette hair lean partway across the aisle. I heard the girl say to the college student across from her, “I get real nervous when we take off. Would you hold my hand?”

My eyes were riveted on the young man to see what he would do. Holding a stranger’s hand is not cool. After an initial nervous blush, he began to smile, and halfway across the aisle came that kid’s big ol’ hand. The girl’s tiny fingers grabbed it and squeezed.

There they held hands across the aisle, as our Delta jet was airborne.

There they held hands as I stared, also in disbelief, and memorized that sacred moment. I knew I was witnessing a sacrament.”

Has God given you a hand to hold?

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