Sunday, November 24, 2013

What I Saw in the Airport on Thanksgiving Eve

I’ve never been in a place where everyone was happy, but the Charlotte/Mecklenberg Airport on Thanksgiving Eve came pretty close.

Because I’d allowed extra travel time for traffic that never materialized, I arrived at the airport with almost an hour to spare before my daughter’s plane arrived. I settled into a chair near the baggage claim area and watched reunion after reunion take place. 

A mother watched the escalator expectantly. Equally excited were her two daughters, one dressed in pilgrim garb and carrying a basket of dried corn, the other dressed as an Indian, complete with long dark braids and a beaded headband. They squealed and bounced in delight when they spotted their father. Stepping off the escalator, he wrapped his wife and daughters in a happy family hug.

Equally excited, but without the Thanksgiving costumes, was a Hispanic family of nine chattering and pointing to the top of the escalator. They watched as each pair of shoes, then legs, then body descended, until their tiny, grey-haired matriarch materialized. They moved as one to engulf her and carry her away with their laughter, kisses, and smiles.

Off to the side stood a man about my age. He anxiously checked the flight board, then his watch, then the moving stairs, then began the process again. When his college-aged son arrived, he engulfed him in a bear hug, a teary smile splitting his face like a knife through watermelon. “It’s been so long. I’ve missed you,” the young man’s father said. “Welcome home.”

As I waited for my daughter to arrive, I wondered if this scene might be just a tiny glimpse of heaven. 

Perhaps loved ones we haven’t seen in years are waiting impatiently, just beyond the gate, straining for a glimpse of our faces. Maybe they’re bouncing up and down as they eagerly anticipate our arrival. I can picture them, like my Hispanic friends, gathered together, chattering eagerly about how good it will be when we’re all together again. 

But the best part of all will be seeing our Father, first from a distance, and then, right before us, in all his glory. He’ll wrap his mighty arms around us and engulf us in a hug that will last an eternity. And then he’ll smile—a great big, face-splitting smile as he wipes our tears away. 

“Welcome home,” he’ll say, “I’ve missed you.”

What do you look forward to most about heaven? Leave a comment below and join in the conversation. 

If you enjoyed this post, you might like "Anticipation is Half the Fun."

Lori Hatcher is the author of the blog, Hungry for God; Starving for Time, where she provides twice-weekly doses of spiritual nutrition for busy people. Like a spiritual power bar, Lori's devotions will nourish your soul when you don't have time for a spiritual meal. To subscribe, click here.

Did you know that Lori has a devotional book for homeschooling moms called Joy in the Journey?

With a devotional for every week of the school year, JITJ has application questions, an action step, and a prayer. It's suitable for your own devotional reading or for use by a support group for meeting ideas.

  No school year is complete without it!

For more information and to read what other homeschooling moms are saying about Joy in the Journey, click here. 

To order a paperback copy, click here.

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