Friday, May 3, 2013
It's a "God Thing"
Several years ago on a trip home from Japan I had an experience I’ll never forget (for more than one reason). My flight was to leave at 10pm, so we headed off to the airport in plenty of time for me to catch my flight. We made a leisurely stop at Starbucks (there’s not one in Miyakonojo so it was a treat) and arrived at the airport only to be told there was no flight. You see, I misread the time that my flight was to leave (it left at 1pm). It had long since left and I was up a proverbial crick without a paddle. Long story short, my hosts did some mad scrambling and managed to get me a flight to Fukuoka (where I then had to buy a ticket to Tokyo and then to Portland). Praise the Lord I was able to get a ticket so I didn't have to miss my friend's wedding. I don’t speak Japanese and trying to find a hotel at night in a strange country was a bit unnerving, but some wonderful Japanese women caught me a taxi and told me which hotel to stay in for the night. Scared of missing yet another flight, I barely got any sleep… Then, my morning taxi driver called is daughter at 6am (because she spoke English), just so he could make sure I got off at the correct terminal! I made it to my terminal and it happened again... I’d just finished checking in, handing over my passport and ticket, and had left the counter to go find my gate. I was standing about 15 feet from the counter when the woman at the JAL counter came back up to me and said, “Today is your birthday?” I think I simply nodded yes in response... She then gave me a big smile and said, “Happy Birthday!” I gave her a huge grin and said thank you, and she headed back to her post.
You see, sometimes it’s the little things in life. I call it a "God Thing" and it just reminded me that He cares and He knows - all these little "random" acts of kindness. My taxi driver didn't have to call his daughter, he'd taken me to the airport - job done. But he did. The women at the airport counter had no reason to leave her desk and come congratulate me on another year of life, and yet she did. There was also this nice man who helped me get all my bags onto the bus and off again (I couldn't have done it without him). As I always say, Japan was my first love, and despite my crazy departure, the events just made me love it even more. I don’t know their names and I’ll never see them again, but I’ll always remember their small act of kindness.
an unfortunate accident.