I woke up on top of the world.
No, really. When I awoke, after a few hours of awkwardly-positioned, contortionist airplace sleep, I checked the flight map. Just along the Denmark Strait, sandwiched between Iceland and the Greenland Sea at -75 degrees F and having traveled a mere 2, 938 miles outside of Newark, NJ. One little airplane computer icon in a large blobbing mass of white at the top of the world.
Yes, folks. We have reached the north pole.
My thoughts are with a memory from the earlier part of this day of traveling, nestled comfortably on the couch of Justin and Jess Brock in Boiling Springs, NC, with a plate of french toast and watching the morning news with my two dear married friends. The program began light-heartedly - interviews with newborn baby photographers and casual jokes/banter between the show's hosts. Commercial break. A reminder that the upcoming interview with a member of that West Virginia mining town would be emotional.
Turns out it was heart-wrenching.
The interview was with a man who had lost his son, brother, and nephew to the recent mine explosion in West VA. We watched as he recounted the last words he had spoken to his son; the last words his son spoke to him: "I love you son." "I love you, Big Guy."
The interview ended with the man choking back tears, wringing his hands uncontrollably, and his wife next to him - arms folded across her chest, staring straight ahead, motionless. In shock.
I think now to my prayers - how I have so often asked to be burdened with a heart that chases after the broken-hearted of this world, with hope that we can all be reconciled through our need for redemption and our recognition that none of us are beyond it. My hope that our hearts, so starved for pure love, would find one another and begin to heal and grow (albeit via growing pains, to be sure) through the recognition that we are not alone in this world.
But this is a burden I am asking for, lest I forget the weight of my request. All of this talk of pure love and reconciliation sounds so nice & pretty, and, though I truly believe in it, it is so much easier to write it out than it is to act it out.
Because we humans are impatient. We start thinking selfishly. We grow in debilitating fear rather than the liberation of truth. Because we need more than just ourselves in this world.
So my prayer this early morning is for what I am incapable of on my own. For what I can only do through the love of Christ and the spurring on of others.
Because this is a world of heartbreak. In every form, fashion, and shape you can think of. From the man who has lost his son in a mining accident to the orphans of small towns in India that may feel alone in the world. My prayer is for healing.
In other news, we are now flying over Norway and I am considering bribing the pilot into giving me a parachute so that I can make my merry way to Oslo.
Or I suppose I can wait for India first.
One thing at a time, Erin Dalton.