This is a quick story worth telling …
I read the book “Heaven is For Real” when I was vacationing in Florida that is about this little boy and his death experience. As the family discovered he had this near death experience, his family tried to understand who and what he saw. He talked about relatives he had never known, as well as angels, Jesus and God as he saw them. They would show him a pictures – of dead relatives who he was able to identify. They also started showing him pictures of Jesus. But there are so many pictures of Jesus out there, he kept saying “No”….until one day they showed him a specific picture and he said “Yes.” I was so moved, I took a picture of book image and it’s in my phone so I can go back and look at it.
Fast forward a couple of months – and I’m heading home on a plane. The flight wasn’t too full, but I ended up in a middle seat next to my colleague. So when they airline attendants shut the door, there was an open aisle seat in the next row up. I moved and sat next to a guy, who was fine with me taking that seat. There was still an open middle seat, plenty of room for both of us.
He was a nice, easy-going guy. He had one of those moments where you fall asleep sitting up and then jolted awake spilling his water… Gosh knows I’ve done this a half dozen times. We just laughed, I handed him some napkins. At first glances, there was nothing unusual about him or the experience.
We finally landed, and we were in the first few rows and we were getting ready to deplane. As I was getting packing my things up, I turned to him and said, “do you need to get anything or want to stand up” and he said with a smile, “no…no…I’m very patient. Patience is important. There are people here that are in more of a rush than I am” (and he gestured back behind him as he said that). I paused and looked at him and noticed his kind blue eyes… and finally said, “Yes, patience is something we can all learn.” Then I got up and left. That was the last I saw of this man.
For some reason, his eyes stayed with me. It was hard to explain. Then, as my colleague and I make our way down to baggage claim, the picture of Jesus mysteriously came up on my phone- I hadn’t been trying to look at my pictures. I have an iPhone and the picture is in the middle of my camera roll. And I did a double take. It looked like the guy on the plane less the hair. Then I heard in my head “patience”. And goosebumps came over my body. All I could think was “wow…”.
As I shared this story with a friend, they shared something very wise with me:
Sometimes if we pursue, the spirit retreats and sometimes if we retreat the spirit pursues. Patience and stillness can be very liberating.
I’ve been on a spiritual journey as you probably know if you are reading this blog. I was completely moved by the experience. And now I hear the words “patience” echo in my head when I need it the most. Here’s the picture in the book that I took: