Home Menu

The People Watcher

It was small plane with one seat on the left and two on the right. And we’re ready to take off. The left prop kicks into action . . ..

“Wow!” He turned to share this magnificent event with someone-but there wasn’t anyone there to hear his “Wow!” No one was watching with him. The others were wrapped in their saran wrap, safely locked into their moving windows.

Oh well . . .. Then he picked up his new backpack and fingered it lovingly, opening every pocket there was to open. Oh, he was so proud of that pack! I can imagine him choosing those garish colors-black and purple. Kids!

Where is he going? Back to his mom’s place to start school? It’s about that time of year.

Or maybe he’s just been to Granma’s for the summer. That’s a nice thought . . . I’ll hang onto that one. But I wonder. He has on a new shirt, new jeans, new running shoes, new white socks (and new underwear in all probability). Fresh haircut. Scrubbed. Everything that could be done to prepare him for the coming experience had been done. Everything to make a good impression when he emerges from his silver cocoon. Hi. Please love me. I’m all nice and clean.

He’s looking down at nothing now. The miracle of the turning prop is over. The newness of his backpack has been explored.

What a cute kid-stubby nose-long, curly eyelashes.

Lord, please let him have a dad and a mom who love him. Let his life be happy. There are so many “wows” to come. Please, may he have someone to share them with.

The priest is slightly overweight. I wonder if he’s proud of his clerical collar? What were his dreams when he was a little boy? Does his collar protect him from the females in his parish? How many walls has he built? Would he let me go behind those walls and talk to him? I doubt it. He doesn’t have any smile wrinkles, in fact, he looks very unhappy. Is he lonely? Does he regret the decisions that he’s made-decisions that isolate him from his world?

The leggy, willowy blonde is still reading her book. She has isolated herself, living vicariously in another world, oblivious to the mixed emotions stirring in the cabin. Could we endure the sound if all of the emotional pain in this small space were to suddenly be heard? I feel it. It’s hitting me and my emotions are going up.

Our flight attendant is African American and is very pretty. Her pearl earrings contrast beautifully with her dark skin. Are her parents proud of her accomplishment? Is she secure in her job? What would it be like to be the only white person-a woman at that-in a cabin with everyone else black. She’s probably used to it. I think I’d be very insecure.

The young man in the seat just up from mine . . . slightly built, thinning hair (I’ll bet he hates that!), expressive eyes but hard to read because of his super thick glasses. What kind of nicknames has he put in a box and tied with nylon cords? Oh, the world can be so cruel . . ..

What fun it has been to watch that young couple! They waved good-bye at least six times during the sixty foot walk from the terminal to the small prop plane, only he didn’t just wave, he would salute! That wasn’t sufficient. When he got to the top step he turned and threw both arms up in a gesture of farewell and before his disappearing act into the plane he took one more curtain call. He turned, clasped his hands together and nodded his head to the ones left behind at the gate. Surely that’s it! Nope. Just one more appearance-throwing his hand out with the “all’s well” thumb’s up sign! So demonstrative! How he must love and respect the people he’s leaving.

I don’t have any answers, Lord, I only have surface observations and a lot of questions.

It’s so difficult for me to comprehend that You know each of these people intimately. You could answer all of my queries, couldn’t You? What would happen if our plane were to develop problems? Who would be led to take charge? Would we all take care of each other if we were forced into emergency decisions? Would there be anyone who would call on the name of the Lord as we went down?

Life is so very fragile. I want to love, to reach out and touch. I’d like to hug that little boy, have lunch with the leggy blond, and be on the receiving end of all of the great good-byes. You know every one of them, Lord, and I don’t need to plead with you to be merciful to them. You love them-more than they could ever imagine-and You watch them all the time . . .

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.