You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Couple offers lesson in hope and love at busy airport


I noticed a couple as I was waiting in the security line at the Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport.

She was a well-dressed woman in her fifties with flowing, curly dark hair—accompanied by a dapper fellow with a crew cut.

Once I went through the metal detector, I noticed she was leading him by the hand—and his gait was slow and hesitant.

Then I saw her struggling to gather up their carry-on bags, so I asked if I could help.

And when I picked up the backpack, the man behind me pitched me in too, toting another bag for them.

“You’re such blessings!” she exclaimed with a huge smile.

As we headed toward the elevator, we introduced ourselves, and when I shook her husband’s hand, he grinned, but remained silent.

They were Hazel and Eric, she told me—and then whispered, “He has Alzheimer’s.”

In the brief time that our little, impromptu group journeyed toward the gate, Hazel and I formed a bond—and I instantly admired her.

Because, you see, despite what had to be a huge trial, she was upbeat and calm.

They had been married 33 years, she told me—the same amount of time I’d been married. And when I mentioned my husband had died 20 months ago, her eyes brimmed with tears.

My own eyes threatened to overflow, when I saw how tenderly she treated her husband— patiently leading him to a comfortable chair by the gate, where she shared snacks with him.

The love between them was palpable—a sign of the unbroken bond existing between husband and wife, even, as the vows state, “in sickness and in health.”

I bought a local newspaper, where columnist Michael Gerson wrote that every life has “unearned suffering or stinging injustice.”

“And then there are the unspeakable things—the death of a child, the diagnosis of an aggressive cancer, the steady advance of a disease that will take our minds and dignity.”

In such painful trials, he wrote, we have a glimpse of Jesus’ feeling of abandonment on the cross—but also realize God stands with those who suffer.

“He is forever on the side of hope.”

These words seemed a fitting testimony to the scenario of love unfolding in the airport.

After all, it was the usual scene—people dragging suitcases along, toddlers complaining, folks eating lunches while plugged into technology, checking social media.

RELATED: Goodbye, my darling love, until we meet again

But in the midst of the busy throng, this couple evoked the stirring words from a psalm: “My hope is in the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”

They also brought to mind Christ’s words, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

Before I boarded the plane, I saw Hazel again, and we hugged as we said goodbye. She promised to pray for me, and I offered her the same gift.

We were two strangers in an airport filled with travelers and probably will never meet again—at least not on this earth.

But I will never forget Hazel and Eric, and the cross they carried. Nor will I forget their silent witness to the supernatural hope God bestows on those who suffer.
OTHER NEWS: As Atlanta diversifies, Sunday isn’t the only day of worship anymore.

__

Lorraine has written eight books available on-line, most recently “Death Dons a Mask,” a humorous mystery set at a Decatur church. Her email is lorrainevmurray@yahoo.com



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Walking, talking, shopping priorities in new suburban communities
Walking, talking, shopping priorities in new suburban communities

Some of Atlanta’s newest suburban neighborhoods are poised to become walkable urban settings that appeal to millennials, baby boomers and other buyers. “The new urbanist movement, which is about 30 years old, is a movement to restore the best of our traditional neighborhoods where we used to live, work and play; where everything was within...
BET Awards 2017: What time, what channel, who is nominated, performing
BET Awards 2017: What time, what channel, who is nominated, performing

Some of the biggest artists in rap, hip hop, pop, R&B, movies and TV will be at the BET Awards on Sunday. Remy Ma, DJ Khaled, New Edition and more  are scheduled to be at the show at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.  Here’s what you need to know before the show: What time: 8 p.m. ET What channel: BET, with live streams on BET.com...
The one thing Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood demand on tour

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood will christen Mercedes-Benz Stadium, new home of the Atlanta Falcons, as the first entertainers to perform in concert there, at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 12. (tickets are on sale June 30 with a pre-sale starting June 27). “It’s very flattering. It’s very humbling. They had their pick of everybody,” Brooks...
7 awesome family-friendly ways to celebrate July 4th in Atlanta area
7 awesome family-friendly ways to celebrate July 4th in Atlanta area

Metro Atlanta offers many fun family-friendly ways to celebrate Independence Day. From parades and fireworks to pool parties, sporting events, and of course, The AJC Peachtree Road Race, the 4th of July is a day filled with special events. Here’s a look at seven fabulous ways families can enjoy the day. On July 4, the Atlanta Braves...
Journalist sues over Atlanta-filmed Tupac Shakur biopic “All Eyez on Me”

A journalist has filed suit against the producers, screenwriter, studio and others involved with “All Eyez on Me,” the Atlanta-filmed Tupac Shakur biopic released June 16. Kevin Powell says in court documents that articles he wrote for Vibe were improperly appropriated for use in the movie. In the suit, filed in New York, the plaintiff...
More Stories