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Lessons from the Airport

With Thanksgiving break over, I made the trek to the airport with my son in tow.  An early morning flight made for a limited and quiet conversation.  But predictably as we neared the airport, he asked, “Dad, do you know…” And with his question, he expressed the thoughts that had probably been on his mind for 8 days.

The conversation was far too short, but still treasured.

We parked, hauled his suitcase and backpack out and traversed the parking lot, up an elevator and across the terminal traffic.  We hustled in, not knowing how busy the lines of travelers would be.  Thankfully, the early morning had pushed away many would be sojourners.  The TSA checkers stood ready to accept him.

With boarding pass in hand, my son was gone–through the wave of security, and behind the glass doors.  And just like that, I realized that I had become a watcher behind the wall.

I think you know what I mean.  You get off a plane, make your way outside the gate, and there they are–lines of people.  Some with signs with names–limo drivers.  But it’s the other ones that grab your attention.  They hold “welcome home signs.”  They gather as family, sometimes as girlfriend or boyfriend, and sometimes they bring a favorite 4 legged friend.  But always, their look is anxious as they wait for their special person to break into sight.  They are the watchers behind the wall.

And now I was one of them–waiting for the next time my son comes home.

It used to be that my wife and kids were the watchers.  I had planes to catch, places to be, work to get done.  The trips always seem long when you are away from family.  But as I’d burst through the exit, they’d be there…waiting, waiting for me.

Ah life.  Ah reversals.  Irony?  I suspect not.  Just these seasons that greet us unaware until we wait anxiously ourselves behind the wall.

About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the National Christian Foundation Heartland. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously: www.givingitallawaybook.com. » Learn More

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