I never think that I have it all figured out, that I know what I am going to do in any circumstance. I live in the fear of God not because of the rules he has asked me to live by, not because the sky could suddenly open and a giant object strikes me down. I live in the fear of God because he is a trusted friend and a wise father that we all need.
Two days ago I changed my boarding pass to take an aisle seat allowing me the freedom of movement when I boarded a flight to DC. It just so happened that it was pretty cold due to the air condition system in the plane and naturally from the altitude. As we soared through the blue skies and I searched endlessly for any new films on the movie channels I noticed the little girl that sat quietly beside me. She was traveling like many other school kids on this international flight and stared innocently across me to see through the window. Her guardian sat at the other side of her filling out landing cards for all the kids and teachers on the trip. I was in awe of them. They had come on board in London where I boarded but I noticed that their journey had originated in Uganda. I could just imagine the excitement of traveling that distance when one was so young and the kind of stories she’d tell back home on her return.
Time flew as I eventually got engrossed in the movie and the child fell asleep, as did most people on the flight. I happened to glance in her direction and noticed that she was shaking feverishly. I looked towards her teacher at the far end to bring his attention to this and realized that he was invisible under the blanket that covered him from head to toe. I watched this little girl for a while and wondered what I should do. It occurred to me that the rules of our world stipulated that we shouldn’t talk to strangers. The rules of our world stipulated that kids more than any one else needed to be protected. Here I was sitting comfortably under my blanket watching a movie while this child was freezing in her sleep and the thing I was worried about was what would the world do to me if I lifted a finger to help. If I answered to man I would look for a flight attendant to assist the child. If I answered to man I would let this child freeze to keep myself away from being branded as something else. Perhaps in my last days when I turned up before the Lord I would be justified for doing nothing because I had obeyed the laws that suited the rules of engagement in our society. The fact remained that those laws where now preventing me from helping a fellow human being in need.
I thought about this for a while and after finding it utterly ridiculous I looked for a blanket for her. Without finding any I gave her mine. Ten minutes later as these things go and the way children sleep she threw off the blanket and I had to reach again for it to cover her. Eventually the cabin lights went on as we entered the last hour to our destination and her guardian woke up and so did the child. I watched them quietly smiling in my heart. It dawned on me that the laws of God although appearing to be difficult for us to follow were much easier than those of men. Looking into my heart my God knew I had done what I did to help someone else. Looking at it from man’s perspective I could have done what I did for all sorts of motives. I believe my experience is not far from the many we have each day in our different lives. It is a good omen that we have laws that maintain order in our society. However it is an even better omen when we realize that these laws are for guidance and not to judge our hearts and souls…