Normally I’m juggling life with kids and husband which I do joyfully (most days). But today is different. I am on a little trip without them. After soaking up time with the kids on a great Spring Break, I am now on a business trip. Changing your life like this so quickly is very weird. Here’s a few musings from my day as a lone traveller.
Ginger Ale. I like it. I never drink it unless I’m on an airplane. As the drink cart rolled down the aisle today, I counted 15 different people who ordered Ginger Ale.
I first rode on an airplane when I was in the 6th grade on my way to my grandfather’s funeral. My sister and brother were a little preoccupied with grief and being in charge of me. I was fascinated. I felt grown up and awkward all at the same time. I loved the tickets and the smell of the boarding passes. I liked the way the seat belt buckle sounded when it clicked. I took the mini-tray down and up marvelling that it was all mine to use. The take-off felt exhilarating, and my eyes couldn’t watch the fluffy clouds enough. And then the flight attendant brought the drink cart! Wow, what choices! I didn’t know how I would decide what to drink. Then, I remembered. My mom had told me to order Ginger Ale. She had said it would help my stomach just in case I became air sick. “Ginger Ale, please,” I said to the flight attendant with my grown-up voice. And I liked it. It was cold and refreshing.
Since that time, I have been on what seems like a million planes. Nothing is new about the experience, although I still love the thrill of the taking off of the plane. Oh, and I still like Ginger Ale.
I had some time to tour around after checking in at the hotel, and I decided to go to the Art Museum. I walked for hours through room after room of paintings savoring the quiet and the gift of time. I was moving slowly through one of the Rembrandt and School rooms, and the light of a particular painting caught my eye. I was stilled by the beauty of it. The painting is called the Descent from the Cross, and it was painted 1650-1652. It is a dramatic picture of the Christ’s body being removed from the cross. I was moved to tears which I quietly pushed away.
A young photographer stood next to me. He asked, “What is it you like about this painting?” I answered in bits, “It’s a sad part of a necessary story. Look at his mother. The mother of Jesus is fainting and looks gray herself. And look at the friends. They are doing the necessary work of life and death. It’s so hard for them. Plus, they are trying to be gentle, but they really can’t be in the task they are a part of. I love the light especially on how it brings out the detail in his feet.”
I was brought to my commitment this Lenten season. Oh, the free fall into the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice to me. It was right in front of me today bathed in light. I’m so glad for the Resurrection, but for today, I am soaking this light up. It’s hard to face it sometimes, but I needed Jesus to descend for me and for you. Thanks be to God.