I left early Friday morning to fly to Baltimore, Maryland to speak at a women’s retreat. I returned late last night and have accomplished the two highest priorities on my to do list: unpacking my suitcase and taking a nap! Without a doubt, as I think over these last few days of seeing, I am most aware of all the very interesting, unique, and (in a few cases) “quirky” people I saw.
Airports are a great place to people watch. I found myself staring a few times as I noticed the vast array of “kinds” of people. People with tattoos and piercings. People wearing lots of bling. People in business attire and others in workout clothes. People bundled up and others scantily dressed. Large people and small people. Black, brown, yellow, pink, and olive skinned people. The airport was an enormous punch bowl of colorful people!
When I arrived at the retreat, I eyed a room full of women-people. All new friends to me, the women of CrossRoads Community Church were also a unique bunch. Older and younger. Moms and daughters. Talkative and shy. Jovial and heavy-hearted. I saw them listen with incredible attentiveness. I saw them open their hearts to God and to me. I saw them eagerly share themselves with each other. Beautiful women, each budding into lovely, feminine flowers of God.
Finally, I saw my seatmates on the airplane and engaged in lively conversation with four interesting people. On my way, I sat with a sweet young couple from Wisconsin. Within two minutes, we discovered our mutual faith in Jesus. They told me how they began their spiritual journey through getting involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on their college campus. (I beamed with delight because my son, Brandt, is on staff with InterVarsity!) They told me how they have just embarked on an adventure of transforming his parent’s dairy farm into a vegetable farm, growing a supply of local vegetables for their community. I was impressed with their ingenuity and resolve.
On the first leg of my flight back, I sat with a talkative red head also from Wisconsin. She is heavily involved as a volunteer with foreign exchange students. Her two daughters are currently exchange students—one in Egypt and the other in Thailand. She, her husband and her son are hosting an exchange student from Kenya. What a rich and fascinating life! Finally, I set next to a vivacious women, obviously business savvy and full of energy. She works in marketing. We talked around the block--visiting topics like her hometown (Richmond, VA), books, marketing, her trip to Egypt, world religions, art and faith. She was absolutely delightful!
I am struck, as I revisit my sightings over the past weekend, at the diversity of interesting people in the world. Everyone seems to be on a journey of discovering who he or she is and how to become that person. Each individual appears to be giving birth to their unique, authentic self, some expressing that self flamboyantly and others in subtly nuanced ways. I enjoy people. As I walked through the airport and watched some more, I thought to myself, I am a part of these fellow humans and they are a part of me. Every one of them has something beautiful to reveal about the God in whose image they were made.