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"Trapped" in the Airport

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Romans 12: 9-13 (NRSV)

The Lord says, "Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you." Jeremiah 29:7 (NRSV)

Leland P. Gamson is from Indiana. Leland called his Pastor, seeking prayers because they were trapped between flights in Chicago because of the snowstorm. Their pastor asked, "Are you inside where it is dry and climate controlled?" "Yes," Leland replied. "Do you have access to water and food?" Again, Leland said, "Yes." Then the pastor asked, "Are you sick?" Leland answered, "No." Then the pastor said to Leland, "Then you aren't really trapped, are you? I'll pray for you to be of service to the Lord where you are." They prayed together, and Leland's attitude changed almost immediately.

Leland bought children's books at an airport store and offered them to families with children. His wife struck up a conversation with an older man wearing a Korean War veteran's hat. Later they offered to wait in the food line for others. It became easy for them to approach others, knowing they were all in the same situation. Additionally, several worried-looking, stranded passengers accepted their offer to pray with them.

The 16 hours in the terminal went rather quickly when they made themselves available to others. They were not trapped. They were in the right place at the right time to reflect the love of God.

Prayer: Dear Lord, when we feel trapped, show us how to be a witness to your loving presence, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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