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

‘American Idol’ notes: Kelly Clarkson, Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez
‘American Idol’ notes: Kelly Clarkson, Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 08: Kelly Clarkson performs on stage at the Citi Concert Series on TODAY at Rockefeller Plaza on September 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Citi) Posted Friday, October 20, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog Kelly Clarkson gave an extensive interview...
Want to raise an empowered girl?
Want to raise an empowered girl?

Laurie Menser was a 7- or 8-year-old in Rockville, Maryland, when she wandered over to a neighbor’s house one day, slipped a glass eye in her mouth and got the attention of the grown-ups in the room. Then she smacked the back of her head and stuck out her tongue - waiting for laughs. “They were appalled,” she remembers. “They...
Taylor Swift is ‘Gorgeous’ as new song is released online
Taylor Swift is ‘Gorgeous’ as new song is released online

Taylor Swift is lighting up the web again with the third song from her upcoming “Reputation” album. >> Read more trending news Swift dropped the song “Gorgeous” Friday morning, Billboard reported. She teased the release Thursday on Instagram. A lyric video was released at midnight on YouTube of “Gorgeous” and...
Nickelodeon fires ‘The Loud House’ creator over sexual harassment allegations
Nickelodeon fires ‘The Loud House’ creator over sexual harassment allegations

Nickelodeon fired the creator of its animated show “The Loud House” after he was accused of sexual harassment, CNN reported. Chris Savino was suspended earlier this week after several women came forward with allegations against the animator, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “Chris Savino is no longer working with Nickelodeon...
Playboy features first transgender Playmate
Playboy features first transgender Playmate

Ines Rau became the first transgender Playmate, as the French model is in a pictorial and centerfold for the magazine’s November/December issue, the magazine announced. Rau previously appeared in the magazine’s May 2014 A-Z issue. “It’s how I celebrated my coming out, actually,” Rau told the magazine. &ldquo...
More Stories