Unchained by Sara Stansberry
I believe in everyday miracles – and the truth that we are all connected. Alive, awake, and aware -I sit in wonder as the adventures of life unfold and God weaves a tapestry in and out of my life.
This is one of those stories…
It had been a long day. I was travelling for work. A series of scheduling conflicts left me in one city, with a flight departing in another. I spent the morning on a train, then gridlocked in traffic to the airport. Arriving breathless to the terminal, I found every departure either delayed or cancelled. It was Father’s Day weekend – there was a plan to surprise my dad but at this point, it looked as though I wouldn’t make it.
I found a seat near the coveted power supply to await my fate. A woman nearby was in tears – a cancelled flight to Italy meant she would miss her sister’s wedding. I was too tired to care.
I felt him staring from across the aisle. Eventually, he came and sat two seats away. I wasn’t in the mood. But he was persistent and so I began to open up. It costs nothing to be kind. I give people my time as often as I can.
His flight left. Mine was cancelled. And I began making new travel arrangements. Within the hour, he sent me a request on LinkedIn, which was impressive considering he only knew my first name and profession (still don’t know how he did that).
Several months later, I received a great gift from him in the form of this note on Christmas:
Merry Christmas! I hope you and whoever is lucky enough to share space with you today are enjoying a loving and relaxing Christmas Day.
I just wanted to take a few minutes on Christmas Day to thank you for your kind heartedness earlier this year. You don't know this, but the day we met was a very tough day for me personally. Your kindness combined with your oh-so-sweet story of visiting your Dad whether by air or by car, really turned my day around. I'm not even exaggerating.
So, thanks for being you. Though I barely know you, I think you're pretty special. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Day.
The love you bring into this world matters. The energy you bring matters. And at the end of the day, people will not remember the kind of car you drove or the house you lived in but how you made them feel - how you touched their hearts. When I began my journey of healing almost a decade ago, I made a promise to myself. I wanted to be brave enough to learn to love. Brave enough to authentically know others and be known by them – for that is the true desire of my heart.
In a serendipitous twist he relocated about 50 miles from where I live. Then, I took a new job - that company is owned by one of his former roommates. They hadn’t spoken in years. But through this connection, they had an opportunity to talk one weekend and I think some healing took place. I loved that.
Yes, airport guy and I did date for a while. And, yes I understand this was probably his intention from the beginning. But what began as a potential love interest, turned out to be a connection that made us each a little better – and that is where the adventure is.
Regardless, I will always be grateful to the man I met in the Dulles airport and what he brought to my life and what I able to bring to his. And when it is my time to leave this world, I hope there will be many who say their lives were better because I was in it.
That’s how you make it great. That’s how you change the world.