I drove towards Lester B. Pearson airport to meet friends from England, praying my way through the rush hour traffic and potential wrong lane changes.
Overhead in a cloudless blue sky a plane drifted steadily upward, arrow-like, angled toward heaven. Its journey seemed lazily peaceful and solitary in contrast to the busy concrete expressway below.
At the Arrivals area in Terminal 3, I scanned the screen of incoming flights: Amsterdam; Cathay; Helsinki; Montego Bay and Port of Spain--my mind went to those places. I saw that my friends' flight from the less exotic Manchester had landed just 20 minutes earlier. I guessed that it would take them at least another half hour to get through customs, but although I had brought a book to read in case the plane was delayed, there was no way I could focus on reading. What if I missed that moment when the doors parted and they came through, eyes searching the crowd for mine?
The doors opened periodically and burped another small stream of people and we crowd of waiters kept our eyes locked on them. People's pace quickened as they spotted their family or friends and they hurried towards them like homing pigeons, with shining eyes and arms outstretched.
A blonde woman in pink shorts carried a small black dog wearing a rhinestone collar. She let out a shriek of recognition and the group of people with her broke into cheers and clapping as those they were waiting for appeared.
A young girl wandered past me, carrying a single, perfect red rose, and two other people held bouquets of flowers. I imagined how welcomed and honoured the people they were waiting for would feel, like my friend whose husband always greets her at the airport with a dozen red roses.
And I think about Jesus and how he is coming back one day; maybe soon. Will I be waiting with bouquets and clapping hands, my eyes on the skies? That's how I want my heart to be when he comes back.
32-39Remember those early days after you first saw the light? Those were the hard times! Kicked around in public, targets of every kind of abuse—some days it was you, other days your friends. If some friends went to prison, you stuck by them. If some enemies broke in and seized your goods, you let them go with a smile, knowing they couldn't touch your real treasure. Nothing they did bothered you, nothing set you back. So don't throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It's still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God's plan so you'll be there for the promised completion.
It won't be long now, he's on the way;
he'll show up most any minute.
But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust;
if he cuts and runs, I won't be very happy.
But we're not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We'll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way. (Hebrews 10:37, The Message)
9-11These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud. They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly two men appeared—in white robes! They said, "You Galileans!—why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly—and mysteriously—as he left." (Acts 1:11, The Message)