I don't believe in chance encounters or coincidences. I can't tell you how often I've left for work feeling downtrodden, only to discover God arranged for me to fly with just the person I needed to get my focus off of myself and onto Him.
It’s been several years now and I can't even remember her name, just her story.
She normally flies London trips (which explains why I've only seen her just the one time), but she needed extra time and had picked up an Orlando turn with me.
She told me about one of her recent trips. A woman and her daughter were returning home from London, just the two of them. Sometime during the flight the woman told a flight attendant she wasn't feeling well, maybe just indigestion? They offered up what they could to alleviate her discomfort, even offering to page for a doctor, but she didn't think it necessary and the crew didn't think much more about it.
The flight attendant said the woman and her daughter weren't even seated in her section but when she was walking through the cabin she felt prompted to ask the girl how her mother was doing. The girl said she thought she was feeling a bit better, but she'd been in the bathroom for quite a long time.
Horrifyingly enough, it was soon discovered she'd passed away. From that point on, this flight attendant never left the girl's side. When they arrived in Detroit she assured her she would stay with her, even ride in the ambulance with her to the hospital.
When she was told she wouldn't be able to accompany her in the ambulance she remembered she'd inexplicably driven from Grand Rapids rather than flying into Detroit. Her rare decision to drive meant she had her car and could drive to the hospital!
She was there in no time to take up her place again at the girl's side. She booked a hotel room for them and stayed there with her until her dad arrived from Wisconsin the following morning.
A week later she was back at the airport to fly the same London trip. She was feeling down, still affected from the trauma of her last trip. She was especially feeling melancholy about turning her phone off and being incommunicado for the next three days. Just as she grabbed her phone to power it off, it rang.
Surprisingly, it was her brother-in-law from California. He called to relay a story he'd just heard from one of his friends. Turns out his friend's best friend just lost his wife on one of our flights. When he finished giving her all the details (having no idea she was actually on the flight), he added, "And this is the great part...God put an angel on that flight to watch over his daughter...this 'angel' never left her side until her dad got there...isn't that a sweet story?"
Only an awesome, all powerful, loving God could arrange all those details! She couldn't explain why she'd made the rare, last minute decision to drive to the airport that day. Then, just when she was at her lowest point and seconds before she turned her phone off, her brother-in-law calls her out of the blue and tells her a story that lifted her up like nothing else could.
I know I've shared this before, but a missionary once defined "fellowship" as "making God larger together." How thankful I am for God's faithful provision of fellowship just when I need it most.