Recently, I was at the San Francisco airport waiting for a friend returning from a trip to Bali. After confirming the China Airlines flight from Taipei had landed and was in customs, I stood in the international terminal loitering with lots of other people for a long time. There was no mass exodus of sojourners coming through customs. One by one, weary travelers arrived at the gate excited to soon depart again, with people delighted to see them.
Watching all these comings and goings, made me think of this verse:
Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and give ear to my cry
hold not your peace at my tears!
For I am a sojourner with you,
a guest like all my fathers.
There is a loneliness that settles into the soul. It comes not from simply standing all alone, but from stopping long enough to realize that our lives are filled with dear ones making arrivals and departures all the time. We weep for them. And if we’re truly attentive to our grief, we ask The Lord to bring us the peace we so desire.
For me that peace comes when I wait like I did at Gate A. As I finally give voice to the cries of my heart and surrender my soul to the comings and goings of joy and sorrow, I recognize that I am a sojourner also. Each day I am invited to be God’s guest on this spiritual journey. I must confess I am not always thrilled with the destinations, but I am grateful that God is with me every step of the way. I am not traveling alone. Neither are you!