I’ve spent lots of time in airports—about a million and a half air miles and counting. With the holiday season upon us, chances are you might be spending some time in the airport too.
There are many opportunities there for what Philip Yancey calls “ungrace.” Ungrace is the opposite of grace. Ungrace results from a worldview that expects people to just get along on their own because, after all, who cares? Well, grace is the opposite. Jesus showed us that people watching is not a spectator sport if you love people! Grace first. Then the gospel.
You can pray an “On the Go” prayer like this: “Lord, just let me see the ones you want me to see and give me a clue about what to do for them. Thank you.”
Here are the top 5 types of folks that He wants me to see. The Lord wants me to meet these people and be Christ-like to them—do something to make their day better. A good grace-filled question is in parenthesis after each one.
- Moms with kids, a stroller, two carry-on bags, and a diaper bag. And a shoe the kid keeps kicking off. (Could I help you carry that? Where’s your gate?)
- Young (really young) men and women in our armed services going out to be the USA somewhere or coming back. (Thank you for your service to our country. We’re so grateful. Do you have far to go today?) BTW, you can hand ‘em $10 for lunch if you have a ten-spot hidden in your wallet. Also, many of them, especially coming from an overseas assignment, haven’t been able to call home because they don’t have a phone handy. Let them borrow your cell phone to call family before they make their connecting flight.
- People in wheelchairs, old, young, kids, many of them alone – (Hi, I was just going for [coffee, a soda, water]. Could I get something for you?)
- Exhausted guy who says he’s traveled all night and has that “one more flight” to go. (Nothing unless he says something. Nothing. Just make sure he hears the boarding announcement.)
- Airport employees who are berated, harassed, and aggravated by people with imperial entitlement syndrome. (A smile. A thank-you. And, if a flight is cancelled, a very small bag of M&Ms or Skittles that you get in a big bag for not much money. You can put 3-4 of these in your briefcase.)
Then, if the Lord extends our conversation maybe there is an opportunity to share a 3-minute testimony of what He has done for one sinner that He can do for anyone who will trust Him. Then, if He’s really moving along with that person, they will be interested in hearing more and the gospel can be shared. It’s that simple.
BTW, no one has ever been angry or irritated, and I never missed a plane because of “grace delivery.” On the other hand I have some great stories of long hours stranded with new-found friends waiting for air-worthy equipment, while snow fell like a curtain, or the airport was closed down for a tornado…we were glad He gave us the new companions.
Try it. Then send us YOUR top 5. All you road warriors…God speed.