Tuesday, February 09, 2010

fraid to fly

by Amber

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard Delta connection flight 4591 with services to Denver…” To tell you the truth, I don’t remember a whole lot after these opening remarks. Staring blankly at the flight attendant during the safety instructions, imagining every possible worst case scenario, I am a bit of a scaredy-cat when it comes to flying. As the plane is making its way to the runway, my heart starts pounding. The feeling of being pushed back in my seat—amazing. The feeling of helplessness as two pilots take control of my life—terrifying. I usually choose a window seat, because for some reason, I imagine the scenery will distract me from the sinking feeling in my stomach. I’m actually writing this entry from a plane. About 30 minutes ago, I gripped my book with sweaty palms, felt the plane lift off the ground, and silently recited prayers for safety. A few seconds ago, the airliner took a dramatic dip for the ground (so it was probably a 20 foot air pocket, but it was enough to bring thoughts of death to mine), a big dip, and no one but I flinched. Before I let out a scream, I look to the flight attendants. If they look calm, I stay calm. I’m still alive. For now.

As I was waiting in the airport for my flight to Denver from Salt Lake City, I came across a Minnesota Public Radio story about a woman who I did CPE with my first year of Seminary. Her name is Renee, and she recently lost her husband Ben in the earthquake in Haiti. She was interviewed a few days after Ben’s funeral back in the United States, and sadly, I hadn’t heard her voice since we finished our summer of CPE. I was reminded as I listened of how incredibly strong she is, her faithfulness to the Gospel, and her love for her husband. She tells the graphic story of the earthquake as she experienced it, her last sight and sound of Ben. Hearing her recall those details broke my heart, but hearing her love for him, and for God in the words she spoke made me so thankful I knew her at one stage of my life, and made me think about my fear of flying in a sense that I was in one of the safest places to be--on a plane. My thoughts and prayers have been going out to Renee since we heard word about Ben's death at Convocation. Please continue to pray for the Larson family. The earthquake is over, but the devastation is far from over.


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