This morning I woke up at 4 AM, drove into Chicago with friends, and found myself at O’Hare way, way early. After a quick breakfast, a gingerbread latte, and one oversold flight, I found myself sitting and stressing at the gate. While there are benefits to flying standby, there are also definitely its negatives.
Was I going to make the flight? How long would I be stuck in this stupid airport? When would I be able to sleep? (Two hours just doesn’t do it for me anymore…)
In the midst of my babbling train of thought, airport announcements and pages, screaming children, and the roar of jet engines, I heard a voice come onto the intercom for the gate area we waited at.
I don’t even remember what the man said – he must have said something… But he began to sing – “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” He sang for almost five minutes, and a hush fell over the surroundings. People stopped what they were doing, and stared. Others closed their eyes and were transported to favorite places or people.
As he finished, our gate and the five or six surrounding ones broke into applause and smiles – a few cheers and whistles thrown in for good measure… He had created a space where we were able to recognize the wonder and joy – the expectation – of something new and beautiful. The presence of Christ was woven into that moment, and I was glad – even if my flight was delayed again. I was glad.