Ok so growing up I always heard about these guys and girls who would have these profound conversations on airplanes with the most unlikely people and then at the end of the flight the person would pray to give Jesus their life. To be honest I thought they were liars, and that something like that would never happen to me...but it did the other day, kind of.
Kerra and I were flying home from our trip to visit my best friend, Austin, in Connecticut. The honest truth is that I don't really like to fly. I mainly tolerate it to get where I need to be. After a flight from Providence to Chicago, we boarded another to Kansas City. (Its that whole Southwest debacle)
On the flight from Chicago to Kansas City we found ourselves sitting by a guy who seemed pretty normal. Probably 27, businessman, liked college hoops and the Chicago Cubs. (He lives five doors down from Wrigley!) About fifteen minutes into our flight he pulled out a copy of the book he was currently reading. The title read, "American Theocracy." Intrigued, I asked, "So what's that book about. Looks like something I'd like to read." He went on to explain his and the book's issues with the Religious Right in American and the effects they have had on the economy and government policy.
I shared that earlier in the day I had been at Roger Williams church, the first Baptist church in American history. We talked about the fact that Williams staunchly believed in Separation of Church and State, and that I held similar views. We talked for a bit about the Kingdom of God and how Jesus' idea for us wasn't control and power-over but instead something very different, service and love.
He told me that it was a little different hearing an evangelical from Austin saying these things and I could only respond with the encouragement that my friends and I are really just concerned with following Jesus and bringing his kingdom to this world. I added that in the kingdom we're often concerned with helping people rather than browbeating them, and that we really just want Jesus for people.
He talked about never finding anything like that in church growing up in Kansas City and then in Chicago. He had gone until college but then quit for the most part. He asked me if there were more people like me in the world.
I went on to tell him about my buddy Austin's church; a small gathering of people, who meet in a house and share the good news with their neighbors through service and loving conversation. He said, "I would really love to find a group like that to be a part of." I said that they're all over the place, you just have to look for them.
We were in our final decent by this point and the conversation trailed off as we got things in order to land. Just before we departed, we finally introduced ourselves. His name was Eric; Eric from Kansas City. As he left with a smile, I leaned toward him also with a smile and said, "Eric, I sincerely hope you find what you're looking for. There's a church out there for you." He said, "I hope so," nodded his head in gratitude and went on his way.
I'm not kidding, this moment was one of the proudest moments of my life, cause I feel like I made Jesus look good, like he was excited to have a relationship with this guy, and loved him dearly. I couldn't help but say thanks to Jesus afterward for changing my life and giving me something beautiful and truly good to say. Anyway God's really good, I have an airplane story now, and there it is.