The plane was full.
I’m not good in middle seats. We had tried to check in early and book aisle seats. My sister had been successful but I had not. So here I was, about to begin an eleven hour journey in a middle seat. I whispered a last-minute prayer for obliging companions, knowing I would need to move two or three times during that journey, and settled down to await the discovery of who those companions were to be.
On my right, the man puffed as he plopped down into his seat. He was a large gentleman and he nodded to me and busied himself with his earphones and blanket. Hmm. Perhaps not someone who would find it easy to move when I needed to get out.
My other companion arrived. He was upset because he had been separated from his wife and he grumbled about the airline and the seat.
Oh dear, Lord, this was not a good start.
As the aisle began to clear, my sister arrived, from her own seat several rows ahead. She spoke to the man on my right.
“Would you be willing to swap your aisle seat for my own, so I can sit with my sister?”
The dear gentleman was willing. Apart from a nod of greeting and a thank you I did not speak to him at all. But he was gracious and a God-send in his willingness to move.
My other companion, still grumbling under his breath, was approached by a steward.
“Sir, we have managed to find seats for you and your wife to sit together. Please, will you come this way?”
Another nod to me and he was gone.
I looked at his empty aisle seat. I gave it a minute. Then I slid across from my middle seat to the aisle. No one else came. No one asked me what I was doing there. I was prepared to move back into my allotted seat if I was challenged. But no one else needed it.
My sister and I looked at one another with surprised delight. She had an aisle seat. I had an aisle seat. And between us, in a full plane, there was an empty seat. Only those of you who travel economy will know what that means!
We high-fived. ‘That’s God …’ we said as we settled down for the adventure ahead. And we knew it was. God arranging the seating on a full plane so everyone was happy.
That’s His grace, His love, His role in my life. That’s his answer to our prayers.
That’s my God …