By Judy Brandon
Faith columnist 

Sometimes connections need personal touch


May 25, 2018

Years ago, people would visit for hours or write long letters to one another in order to fill in distant family members on family news. Family reunions were packed with much visiting time so all family members could visit and share details of their lives from the previous year. Agendas were packed for plenty of reminiscing, socializing and generally catching up.

But times have changed. Now a simple look at the computer or a quick impersonal look on Snapchat will fill any family member in on all the details of a relative’s life.

I know that social media is a great tool for communication. But there is a downside as well. The challenge with social media is that the personal touch is missing or at least greatly diminished. This not only applies to family members, but acquaintances and even strangers. Are we as willing to personally connect in person as we once were? Or have all the social media tools trained us to stick to our phones, check our messages and the latest posts on Facebook?

But what happens when we dare step out and make a connection with someone who is a stranger? I think that God has blessings in store for us … we just have to get out of the comfort zone of being behind Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter. We may reach out to strangers via social media but what about face to face?

The good news is sometimes strangers can be true blessings in our lives. I know a true story to illustrate that.

A friend told me that she was in a busy international airport getting ready to board an airplane. She couldn’t help but notice an immaculately dressed woman who was waiting at the same gate. She was dressed in a sophisticated designer outfit. The passenger also clutched a Louis Vuitton carryon bag and matching purse. My friend was fascinated with watching the female passenger.

While waiting for the passengers to board the plane, my friend continued to glance at the female passenger in total amazement. The woman just had such a sophisticated air about her. My friend had the passenger assessed: Here must be a woman with not a care in the world.

Once everyone had boarded the plane, my friend and the female passenger ended up sitting directly across the aisle from one another. When the passengers were buckled in, the safety instructions given, and the plane was cruising at a comfortable altitude, my friend saw the lady retrieve her Louis Vuitton bag from under the seat in front of her and pulled out a book to read.

When the passenger began reading the book she had brought, my friend was stunned. The woman was reading “The Case for Faith,” an encouraging Christian book which speaks to people about the encouragement that comes when one has faith in Christ Since my friend is a Christian, she touched the fellow passenger on her arm and said to her, “I have read ‘The Case For Faith,’ and it inspired me so much.”

That one touch led to a lengthy conversation. The two ladies began talking and sharing their life experiences. The passenger told my friend of her diagnosis of breast cancer and of its aggressive return only a few years later. She continued to describe the debilitating side effects of the extensive surgery, the radiation, and the chemo therapy. The passenger endured weeks of painful physical therapy, and she continues to have regular check-ups in hopes that the disease will not strike again.

My friend asked the passenger, “What sustained you during this dark time?”

Without a moment’s hesitation, the lady answered, “My faith in Jesus Christ sustained me. I knew Jesus was with me every step of the way. In fact, looking back on my cancer, it was a blessing. I now have a new sensitivity to others who are going through trials.”

The two ladies conversed and laughed, and truly regretted to see the flight come to an end. When the two were deplaning, both ladies lingered to get a few last words in. They exchanged phone numbers. The woman remarked, “Jesus never disappoints me. He has brought a believer into my life on this flight, on this day, at this time.”

Then the two women hugged and went their separate ways.

So my friend reached out to a stranger and God blessed them both.

Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: [email protected]


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