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Incarnation at the Airport

My flight was scheduled to leave at 2:55 pm on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Heading to Pennsylvania for the holidays exhilarates me without fail. This trip was welcomed more than usual as the past two months have been shrouded with fear and insecurity. My already degenerating back had gone out again in the beginning of the school year, and my heart had been broken a few times over. In the last week I had prayed specifically that notice Jesus, incarnate, in my daily life. “Please be present.” With a gap of time to relax before boarding the plane I sat in a restaurant, my eyes taking in the swarm of travelers, almost like watching life in fast-speed motion. My heart was tender and searching for some comfort. Loneliness over the years has caused me to look for Him as companion, helper and healer. I know my vision into the supernatural world is more keen at these times. Eager travelers were already in crunched lines at my gate. And as I moved in, I heard a low voice singing, almost like a hum. It was dim and soft but clear. The name “Jesus” being sung next to me like an anthem, “ are worthy of praise...Jesus...if He woke you up this morning give Him praise...Jesus...If you have breath in your lungs give Him praise...” The airport was a church for anyone within a few feet of this strange soloist. Here was a human being caught up in Jesus. Within a second of listening he had cast the spirit of Jesus to me. This traveler was not a pastor, a street-side preacher, or a theology professor; he wasn’t a gospel singer or a TV evangelist. Decked out in Philadelphia Eagles wear from head to toe, oversized sunglasses and an unshaven face...this unkempt man transported Jesus right into the center of the C wing in the Charlotte Douglas Airport. The two-month long millstone hanging around my neck lifted with his melody. Jesus was God incarnate. Again. I knew Jesus was near. I knew He was in this man and coming out through this man. I knew Jesus was reminding me that He is still Emmanuel, “God with us.” At this moment, I knew my prayers had been heard; he was a conduit. For the next 20 minutes he continued on in a bass hymn, “Greater is He that is in me...” I finished his sentence as we walked down the corridor, “...than he that is in the world.” In sync we pronounced, “Amen.” This man seemed so free. So content. So joy-filled. So secure. So peaceful. Those in earshot had confused, crooked smiles. Was he high? Was he drunk? But I knew what was going on: he was otherworldly. As I looked around, eyes and ears everywhere hitched up to phones, furrowed brows with stress lines marking people’s faces, no boundaries around the workday, the obsession with money, image, and power...this man stood as a pillar of contrast. Heaven on earth. God spoke the earth into life; He spoke to His people through the prophets; He spoke through Jesus as a human being walking among us; He speaks through the Spirit and even now through His word. He is a God who draws near to His people. He is always speaking and always near, we just don’t look. I am an incarnation of Jesus. If you have the Spirit, so are you. As we walk and speak and forgive; as we create, enjoy, and laugh; as we rejoice with others and weep with them, we are the presence of Jesus. Paul tells us that our bodies are the “Temple” of God. This is no small thing. I house Him. Look people in the eyes when you check out of the line at the food store. Spend more time in the Word of God so that it spills over more naturally. Take notice of the needs of those around you. Share food, apologize, compliment and and refrain from gossip. Be God incarnate in the 21st century. Maybe you can sing in the airport; you never know who is around you who needs some chains lifted off their soul. Just as John the Baptist pronounced, so should we: “He must become greater, I must become less...” My new friend and I walked onto the plane. In Jesus-likeness he took my heavy bag and carried it for me, lifted it to the overhead compartment and blessed me in the name of Jesus as he wandered back to his seat...singing “Glory to God in the highest...” Look for God. He’s right next to you.

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