Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.
I was settled in a window seat on the plane looking forward to solitude while finishing my beach trip journal. A slender, pretty and radiant woman—probably in her early forties— became my seatmate. She wore a stylish outfit with fashionable slits in her designer ankle jeans complemented by great shoes. Her short blond hair was chicly highlighted. She explained how nervous she was to fly while she was ordering a glass of wine at 8:00 a.m. from the flight attendant.
I learned that she and her husband own a home in Florida and enjoy weekends in their beach condo. Her story began to unfold as her demeanor prompted me to breathe a simple prayer.— Lord, come quickly! Help me to be compassionate!
She was pregnant at age fifteen. She left home after refusing the pressure from her parents to have an abortion. She then gave birth to two more children by the time she was twenty-three. As a teenage bartender, she was the sole provider for her kids, who were fathered by different men. Eventually, she married a “great guy,” and life became stable. But now, her eighteen-year marriage was on the rocks because her husband recently admitted to an ongoing affair with an old flame while planning his high school reunion. Her recent hospitalization in a mental health facility had been difficult for them since she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, PTS, and anxiety. She expressed fear that her husband would leave her now because of her health conditions.
I told her that my life and most of our lives are messy and difficult. I shared that many years ago I had made a commitment to live on mission for Jesus Christ—to follow him and carry his cross daily. I voiced my belief that Jesus promises his presence, joy, and peace—no matter how hard life becomes. (Luke 9:23) Then she smiled and pointed to a small tattoo incised on her ankle depicting a cross over a blue ocean wave with the word freedom. Our bond that day was valuable to both of us, as we parted with a hug and a promise to pray for each other.