Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gifts

As I strolled through the airport this week, I passed a few men and women in military uniform. The large duffel bags they were carrying led me to believe they were not there for security purposes, but rather to travel.

When I reached my gate, I saw about five more waiting for the same flight I was.

I didn't think much of it at the time, but assumed they were on leave, perhaps off to enjoy a long Memorial Day week.

As I boarded, I noticed two open seats in first class - a rarity in a world where upgrades are used to buy loyalty.

Shortly thereafter, I noticed a flight attendant summoning two of Our Nation's Finest up to first-class to fill the open seats there.

A nice gesture, I thought to myself.

But it's what happened next that left me speechless.

One by one, three first-class passengers got up and exchanged their plush seats for the amenity-free joys of coach so that the other uniformed men could fly in luxury with their pals.

If you have ever glanced at the cost of a first-class ticket, you know what a generous gift that was.

The gesture took on even more meaning when we landed, and learned those five men were not on leave. They were headed off to serve the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I've been thinking a lot about those gifts this Pentecost Sunday. And I pray that the Holy Spirit strengthens you and I to be as brave in serving our Lord as those five men are in serving their country, and as generous as those three folks that gave up their first-class seats.

God Bless.

P.S. Speaking of gifts, Victor has written another wonderful book ... and is offering it to everyone for free. If you have read Victor's blog, Time For Reflections, you know that he is a very gifted and entertaining writer. If you haven't, you can check it out here. (Victor: I'm about a third of the way through the book and am enjoying it very much. Thank you for your gift.)

6 comments:

Victor S E Moubarak said...

What a lovely story Michael. Thanx for sharing it with us.

Thanx also for your kindness to me and for your support.

God bless you Michael.

Karinann said...

Michael,
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. May God bless those who gave their seats so generously and may He protect those going to serve.

Charli and me said...

God works through the hearts of others doesn't he? That truly was a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Hi Michael,

You have been awarded a Sunshine Award. Please visit my Blog to collect it.

God bless.

Mary333 said...

What a beautiful story!

Anne said...

Michael, this story moved me deeply. My Godson is preparing to leave for Afghanistan with the Marines, and I have a nephew who is serving with the Navy.

It is wonderful to know that their commitment to our country is honored by others! Thanks for sharing this story! God bless you!