Close Encounter In An Airport Bathroom

April 26, 2018

It started off as a typical Thursday afternoon after a week of business travel.

Turn in rental car. Schlep barefoot through security checkpoint. Bra wire pat down by female TSA agent. Board returning flight. Stow bag. Insert purple earbuds. Listen to chill music while gazing out airplane window. Land at DFW airport and taxi 15 minutes to gate. Grab carry on bag. Head up exit ramp. Stop in airport bathroom before picking up car (because everyone knows rush hour traffic plus no bathroom break equals no bueno).

My black Samsonite bag glided on the speckled tile floors as I made my way through the crowd to the bathroom. Surprisingly no line. I headed into the first open stall.

As I exited the stall, I saw her. Her eyes darting around in a panic. The look of complete emotional despair bubbling like a volcano about to erupt. The line had grown a couple people deep. She shuffled back and forth trying to keep her composure for just a few more minutes.

I rolled my black suitcase by her towards the sink and soap.

Then, I heard an abrupt rattling of each bathroom stall door. Rattle, rattle. Rattle, rattle. Rattle, rattle. Her brain desperately in search of a bit of privacy so she could let herself fall apart.

With each rattle, rejection. This stall is taken.

It couldn’t be contained any longer. She hurled herself in the back corner of the bathroom and let out a wail of despair. Sobbing echoed throughout the entire bathroom coupled with an eerie, reverent quiet.

As I washed my hands with warm water and soap, I prayed God would have mercy on her. God, I don’t know what this woman is facing today, but I pray you will comfort her. Help her to remember she is loved and not alone.

That’s when an impression so strong emerged, I knew it could only be from God. Go tell her she is loved and not alone.

Uhhh…God, can’t you see this woman wants to be alone – hence the rattling stalls and attempt for some privacy? I’m not sure some stranger delivering a message right now is a good idea. You sure about this?

Go tell her she is loved and not alone.

I finished rinsing the soap off my hands and headed towards the automatic paper towel dispenser with uncertainty in my spirit. Who wants to be the crazy lady in the airport bathroom who invades a stranger’s semi-private corner meltdown moment?

So I did what any God honoring somewhat hesitant person would do and headed towards… the exit door. Times when I’ve heard God and ignored it flashed through my brain in a matter of seconds. Regret. I still wonder what could have happened if I’d listened and followed through.

After several steps towards the exit, I found myself in the midst of a huge pivot back into the restroom. Courage started to fill me up from the inside out as I headed for the corner. What do I say???  I prayed God would give me the words.

“Can I give you a hug?” came out of my mouth.

She nodded yes and sunk into my arms weeping. She held on tight as she cried for over 30 seconds. Then, I looked into her eyes and delivered the message, “God wants you to know you are loved, and that you’re not alone. He sent me over here with that message for you.”

Her eyes filled with more tears, and she began crying again. She took a deep breathe, grabbed hold of my hands, and started to speak.

“My mom died this year. It’s been really hard. We were really close. And I just got off the phone with my dad who is sick and is refusing to go to the doctor. He’s so stubborn… and I’m … I’m so frustrated. I can’t lose both my parents this year. I feel so alone.” The tears welled up again.

Suddenly the words God gave made so much sense. I repeated them to her. You are loved, and you’re not alone. You are loved, and you’re not alone.

She held my hands tight as we talked more about her family. I assured her God hasn’t forgotten about her – as evidenced by him sending a complete stranger in an airport restroom with a special message just for her. I gave her one last hug and headed out to pick up my car in awe of getting to be a part of something so special -> a God-moment.

Moments like these can arise in the most seemingly mundane of times: at home doing laundry and speaking with your child when the conversation turns deep, in the car running errands when you feel a prompting to call a friend, or even with a stranger in an airport restroom.

Because God is in our everyday moments. And sometimes He gives us the privilege of getting to be a special part of his divine plan.

It only requires tuning-in and acting (and a bit of courage to listen to that little voice… you know the one that you can’t shake even when it may not make logical sense or might make you look like a crazy person).

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1

You’ll never regret listening to God’s voice, getting to be a part of His plan, and getting to lift others up.

Who is God impressing on your heart today? Make that phone call. Say those encouraging words. Be part of that God-moment.





Categories: Courage Faith Godmoments kindness Purpose Trust
Tags: close encounter in an airport restroom, courage, encouraging others, finding god in the strangest of places, god moment, god moments, god's purpose for you, listening to god, you are loved, you are not alone, you are special,

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