In Perfect Peace

July 4, 2022

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

Isaiah 26:3 NLT

Dear St. Paul’s Family,

Air travel in the Summer of 2022 is not fun. Record numbers of passengers are going places, airlines are short-staffed, and summer thunderstorms are a constant challenge. Traveling by air to and from the Chamberlain Family Reunion/Seventieth Wedding Anniversary in Brooksville, Florida was no exception.

The first leg of our flight from Orlando Charlotte was delayed by two hours, which meant we had to be rebooked on a new flight from Charlotte to Richmond, VA. That flight was also delayed. Gates were changed several times. Charlotte’s terminal is crowded on good days. When flights back up, it is a nightmare. Social distancing was impossible, very few people wore face masks, and hallways were nearly impassible when masses of people lined up to board flights, or to grab a not-so-quick coffee at Starbucks.

When we finally got seated on the for the final leg, we sat on the ground for another hour waiting out a series of thunderstorms. The jetway could not be pulled back from the aircraft due to lightening. The fueling was stopped before it was complete for the same reason. They had to pause loading luggage for the same reason. We arrived at Richmond four hours behind schedule and then had to drive through pouring rain while following some sort of convoy for an hour before getting to the beach house in Sandbridge, VA. These are first world problems. I know I am complaining. I think I was in good company in that regard.

But there was one couple I noticed while waiting (impatiently, I might add) in Charlotte. Amidst the noise, the delays, the crowding, they had found refuge, rest, and peace as they grabbed some sleep. I snapped their picture with my camera and my mind. They found peace during the storm. They were rooted in love. Their souls were anchored firm and secure in each other. They were kept in perfect peace in each other’s presence. They became for me an icon, a window into the heart and soul of faith.

It didn’t solve my travel delays, but it did turn my thoughts to God, and I found peace. God is present, in the most surprising ways. I am grateful for that particular seat at that particular time, and for the unknown couple who became an icon of perfect peace and trust.

Kept in perfect peace ~ Anne

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