Over winter break I spent two days living in the Chicago O’Hare Airport. (story for another time). During this time I also had a concussion meaning I really couldn’t read any of the books I brought or do what millennials with an iPhone. This basically left me with one form of entertainment, people watching.
And boy people watching for two days at the busiest airport for passenger traffic is like the Olympics of people watching. I saw a 4 year old throw a temper tantrum while his 8-year-old sister told him to stop being such a big baby and videoed the whole thing.
I saw people do the 100 yard dash in a futile attempt to catch their plan that was already backing out of the gate.
I saw people yell, I saw people cry, you name it and I probably saw it over those two days.
However, the thing that stood out to me most while I was living in Chicago was not what anyone did but what someone said. Now before I get into that I must start by saying that my first day of travel was the same day of the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting.
At one point in the early evening I was sitting across from a husband and wife with their two kids in a quiet part of the airport. I began to notice that the two kids that were probably 5 and 8 years old were beginning to get a little fussy and heading towards a complete nuclear meltdown tantrum. As I was waiting for their complete meltdown so I could add a tally to number of kids crying in the airport (I was really bored), I couldn’t help but over hear the father calm his two kids down.
He began to explain to his kids that yes it was very unfortunate and not fun that their flight to Fort Lauderdale was canceled but it was not awful nor the worst thing in the world. Their fussiness began to subside and the father sat both kids on his lap and asked them, “Do you know what is awful?” Naturally neither child had any clue what the answer was so the father began to explain to his kids how someone walked into the airport, with a gun, and began to kill people. And how them getting home one day later was not that bad after all. The father and two kids began to do some research on the internet about the shooting and the once upset kids were now showing compassion towards those that died and no longer were upset about not getting home until the next day. I am not on the committee for father of the year but that man definitely should be in the running for the award.
The family left soon after and I began to replay the conversation in my head thinking about myself as a father (future tense, like in 30 years when I figure out how to have a conversation with a woman for more than 8 seconds). I began to think about how I would have to explain the evils of the worlds to my children as they grow up. Taking them from innocent toddler that knows of no such tragedies to an informed teenager that shows compassion to those in less fortunate situations. I began to think about having to pull away my child’s ignorant innocence and expose them to the real world and how hard that must be as a father.
But then I remembered one of the many joys of having a sovereign and loving God. That yes awful things happen in this world, and yes people go through tremendous suffering every single day. But ultimately God is working everything for good. Not only for me but for you too. Now I am not going to outline how this is so. How a loving and sovereign God also allows pain in the world. People write entire books on this topic and if you are interested I recommend the “Problem with Pain” By C.S. Lewis or “Why Suffering” by Ravi Zacharias
But I will leave you with one thing. “I (Jesus) have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take hear; I have overcome the world” – John 16:33
As always make good choices, share if you like what I said, comment if you have something to add, give that follow button a hit, and I will see you sometime in the future. Sorry fam I am super busy right now and don’t know when I will be back. Most likely sometime next, but that why you should follow me so you don’t miss out.