Unplanned meeting

Neither of us planned to take this flight.
Assigned seats together, we look different.
Me, older, frumpy in baggy trousers and comfy shoes
You, younger, glamorous in short dress , high boots
Colourful make up, jewellery and piercings.
Fastening seat belts, you share your fear
And speak of your unhappiness.
I am honoured and humbled by your open trust.
We share our hearts, our inner hopes
Connect and stare in wonder
At the beauty of each other.
Two precious hours to discover and encourage,
Then embrace and part.
Thank you Suzie, I will remember you.

No photo here, but a memory in my heart of a special person I may never see again. A real unexpected gift of  encountering “Christ in a stranger” as St Patrick described it. 


4 responses to “Unplanned meeting

  1. Some of the encounters which have affected me most profoundly have been just such fleeting times. There is something about knowing you will probably never meet again which sometimes allows both parties to lower the guard we normally keep up. I still remember such a conversation with an airline pilot returning from a tour of duty with whom i shared my journey home to Wales from London,on ‘the milk train’ at God Knows What O’Clock, some forty years ago. I’m not sure I encountered Christ in him – but it was certainly someone very interesting! (And even that comment shows that I probably had a stereotypical view of just what He was meant to be…while He may well have been quite, quite different – just like the guy on the train, in fact.
    Thought and memory-provoking post, Cilla – thank you for this.

    • …. for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
      Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
      To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

      Gerald Manley Hopkins – in “When kingfishers catch fire”  
      He has this idea of encountering the divine magic all around us, including in each other. And Jesus himself said that caring for human beings of all kinds was the same as doing it to him. Matthew 25.40
      Perhaps we undervalue ourselves and each other….!

  2. justafewlittlewords

    It’s amazing what a lasting effect a chance encounteder with someone can have on us, especially if we are unlikely to meet them again. I think it is down to us being open to connecting with others. It may be slighly risky but oh what joy when the magic happens.

    • You are so right about both the riskiness, and also the joyful magic.
      It makes me sad that we are usually so well defended and afraid of each other. All sorts of reasons I know… But it makes the exceptions all the more special.

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