I open a new bottle of shower gel this morning and squeeze some in my hand and immediately I am carried away to another time and place. I am back in North Florida at my grandmother’s home on a warm summer morning. It was Dove soap that gave me wings for time travel.
Just the fragrance of that soap brought back a ton of happy memories of my Saraberg. That was what we called her. She was my mom’s mother and she went to heaven several years ago. I miss her. She always had a brand new bar of Dove soap in her shower when I visited and the fresh clean scent reminds me of her.
Has that ever happened to you – where you instantly time travel to another time and another place? It’s fascinating when that happens, isn’t it?
Assad and Amaan are now my honorary brothers. One is from Ethiopia and the other from Somalia, and they both work in the Dallas airport. They’ve been in the US for about 5 years and they are both cheerful, hardworking men. I call them my new brothers because they called me “my sister!”
“Step up here, my sister,” Assad said as he helped me into the cart to transport me to my gate. Then, when he transferred me to Amaan for the second leg of my hurry-flurry through the airport, Amaan said, “hello, my sister. I will get you to your gate. You not worry.”
I loved the way they treated me; it felt like family. They helped me like they would help their own mother. They were protective and as kind to me as they would be to their own sisters.
Why don’t we talk like that to each other? Why don’t we act like that to each other?
I only had 30 minutes between flights. That’s a pretty tight layover even when you’re seated in the first row of the plane and able to get off first. It’s tight even if you can see and run like a sprinter through an airport. But, when you’re blind, have to wait for airport assistance and are stuck in the back of the plane … well … 30 minutes is almost impossible.
So, as we taxied in, I knew there was only a small chance I would make my next flight. I signaled the flight attendant and told her my situation and asked, “I know it’s your policy for those needing assistance to get off the plane last, but can you walk me out as soon as we land so I can make my next flight?”
Every time I am with them on their Life Today television program, I am moved. They lift me up with their personal words of encouragement. They challenge me to give more of myself with their appeals to build water wells. They draw me toward helping hurting people with their sincere love for people…”call if you need a friend.”
I unloaded my frustrations to my friend Karen while talking on the phone the other day. Sometimes blindness makes me so tired that it just scrapes against the bottom of my soul, and it was one of those days.
I bet you know what I’m talking about; we’ve all had “one of those days.” You know, when you’re so overwhelmed that you can’t even put your jumbled feelings into words?
I was laughing with my friend Joan yesterday as we prepared to travel together. We are going on Kathy Trocolli’s Among Friends cruise in just a few days! (I know, I know, poor me. If you can’t come, I am speaking on another cruise in October – check it out maybe you can join me on that one!)
Anyway as we were going over details, Joan said “I promise not to get you stuck in a revolving door on this trip!”
Yes, Joan and I were going through or at least attempting to go through, a revolving door once in a mall in Tulsa when Joan panicked. “How do we get through this? How do we get out of this?!” She didn’t think to ask those questions until our second rotation. Once she and I were in, she wasn’t quite sure how to get me (being blind) and her (being blonde), out of the door at the same time!
We obviously made it out and so I thought I would share with you how that miracle occurred.
On our trip to China, we visited the mainland; Beijing and Dalian to be exact. We encountered many wonderful things there, but, honestly, it is pretty hard to get around. Even if you can see! So, that’s why I was so pleasantly surprised when we left mainland China and visited Hong Kong. It was so easy to navigate. Especially when you can’t see!
Well, as I write this I am eating some dark chocolate and sipping some cinnamon tea because that is what I do when I need to regroup emotionally. Why, you might ask, am I needing to regroup emotionally? Let me set the stage…
I am alone in my kitchen. I am listening to an instrumental collection of songs entitled “Peace”. I am humming along to Chris Rice playing “Like a River Glorious.” I am totally, thoroughly, completely soaking in the moment; quiet house, peaceful thoughts and the fragrance of cinnamon tea brewing. While the tea is brewing and my thoughts are hovering somewhere above planet earth, I walk out of my kitchen to get my favorite tea cup from the dining room. I walk directly into my kitchen wall.
This is the last blog of a five part blog series over Mark 8:22-25. For 5 blog posts now we have been in Bethsada with the blind man and Jesus.I have learned so much from him about spiritual blindness and Jesus’ touch on all our lives. I hope you have too. Here are the links if you want to catch up. Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, Post 4
I think for centuries, the “blind man from Bethsaida” has been misrepresented. He is not actually the “blind man from Bethsaida,” he is actually the “formerly blind man, now sighted man from Bethsaida!” I love that. It should remind me; remind all of us, that our past does not define us. It impacts who we are, but it does not define us. Jesus’ touch on our lives is what defines us.
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