We’re waiting to leave for the airport. Our flight was canceled because of the storm and I hoped the trip as well. No such luck. Bumped 8 hours and we’re still leaving. I’m sitting on the couch waiting these last few minutes with toothbrush and tomorrows underwear wondering why leaving home always feels like a one-way ticket.
It’s times like this I wish for the heart of a lion. Fearless strength and determination. Enough power to overcome any external force coming against me.
Deep abdominal breathing keeps me calm.
The flight attendant gestures emergency procedures, with a smile. I wonder if I can just ride with my mask and inflated jacket to save time. My husband is digging through the overhead pulling out a red hardhat belonging to the gentleman in 1A. Giggles start their engines and we’re off.
Our tickets were business class, but because of the storm and switching of planes, we are on the front side of the blue mesh curtain. Everyone in the back wrestles with foil between their teeth, while we recline seats, sip drinks, hold warm roasted almonds within a shining, white, delicate dish. We sprawl and sink above the clouds at 35,000 feet, while our old friends rub elbows and squeeze cheeks. It feels grossly unfair.
I noticed the preflight briefing was exactly the same as the economy section. There are no escape pods for first class. No parachute under my seat, just a life vest with a blow pipe and a pull string same as the rear. When you enter the plane you’re special. Exiting in disaster…we’re all equal.
I just finished a memoir, Sober Mercies, by Heather Kopp. She wrote something I keep having to repeat to myself, “Life on earth is nothing if not unfair.” Somehow I’ve known this, but today I’m forming an agreement with it. I want to stride alongside the truth of it, instead of it always tripping me up. I want to stop measuring who’s winning and losing. Instead, acknowledge…earth is an unfair race.
My grandkids are growing up 5 hours away, and sometimes it doesn’t seem fair. Without a dose of medication my nervous system takes off like a Boeing 747 emptying me into depression, and I feel gipped. My husband and daughter suffer with chronic pain and it’s so unfair. When my brother-in-law died of mental illness at 20 years old, that wasn’t fair. My husband works at the Cook County Jail where a man is serving 16 years for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Does that sound fair to you? In Africa, at this very moment, Mothers carry their babies in search of clean water. Life on earth is nothing if not unfair.
The older I get, the more clearly I see the scribbled lines of unfairness. In my 20’s and 30’s I ran with blinders on ~ keeping the pace ~ running the race. My 40’s I swept out the nest and tried rebuilding the figure the kids tore down. Now 55, weakness is improving my perspective. It’s closing in and I’m winding down. Heather’s right. Life on earth is not fair, and much to my passive surprise, it never was.
I’m not going to resolve times crashing plane of injustice. I’m going to trust in a just God. He said he would bring justice to the poor and save the children of the needy…and I believe him. He said he would not forget the cry of the humble, prayer of the destitute, and the oppression of the weak. He promises to heal the brokenhearted, save what was lost, make all things new. He calls himself the Lion of Judah ~ the King of Kings, and as his daughter, he crowns me a runner in that race.