After three trips in a single year, it was hard to wait nearly 8 months to return to Belize. I've done things a little differently this time - I am out at Ambergris Caye, an island about 35 miles offshore.
All of my flights went very smoothly, although I was VERY concerned about the flight from Columbus to Houston. In the boarding area, there were LOTS of children, which always makes for an interesting flight. I was tired, and didn't want to start my vacation with all that howling. If you've flown frequently, you know what i mean.
Imagine my level of discomfort when i arrived at row 23 (of 24) and found not one, but TWO children in my row, and their mother. And I had the window seat. Trapped. I asked if it was too late to upgrade to first class, but no luck on that.
The four year old next to me was checking out the seat back pocket - his mom told him to quit and sit back. Most of us would bring stuff to entertain, but not this mamma. She was all business. She headed to the head (hee hee) and left him there...with me. He started through the seat pocket again, and his auntie across the aisle, shouted across five seats for him to leave things alone. I asked, "have you ever been in a limo?" She hadn't. But when I was in college, my sister and I were given a night on the town, which included a limo to see "Cabaret". Our roommate got in, and played with every single switch, light, button, and gadget. She even made a call on the "car phone" - this was still back in the day when only the very, very rich had such devices - and they were the size of a bargain price box of cornflakes. I explained to auntie that he was just checking things out.
The feeling of dread left me, and compassion took over for this mom, traveling with two small children. Other family members were with them - auntie and her two children, and several other family members all toward the front of the plane. Among the 12-15 or so of them, there was not one father present. As I learned at the end of the flight, they are all from California, and came back to Ohio for a family reunion. You have to admire that. Maybe the dads stayed home because of expense, or because it was a girl thing, or because who would want to hang around that many in-laws all at once for that long!!
Anway, back to the flight. The little guy slept through most of it, even through beverage service and the in-flight meal - a muffin. He woke up again at one point, and was trying so hard to sit up, but he just couldn't. Mamma was trying to make one blanket cover the three of them. I positioned the pillow against my lap, and offered to let him lie down on my lap, and he did. I put my arm across his little body to maybe keep him a little bit warm in his worn blue tanktop.
We traveled that way together for about half an hour, his head in my lap, my arm around him. I asked God to forgive me for my initial attitude, which wasn't very Christian-like. It was filled with thoughts of self, and my own personal comfort, and my own 'space'. I thought, I am going to minister to others in Belize, but what am I doing now? Opportunities to be missionaries are right outside our doors. You don't have to get on a plane to share God's love, but today, that's where it was needed.