Let me just say right off the bat, I don’t think I handled this the right way. For that reason, I am going to share my story so that others of you who read it may know that 1. Doing something like this isn’t always easy, 2. You’re not the only person who tries to negotiate your way out of it, and 3. Maybe it won’t be as bad as you think.
What am I talking about you ask? I’m talking about those moments when the Holy Spirit prompts you to do something and you delay it as much as possible in hopes that you can get out of it.
My moment was on a flight to Houston, Texas at 9:00 p.m. on a Thursday night. I was on my way to a family trip. I’m sure everyone is familiar with the post seat selection drama that occurs on the airplane after you’ve been seated and there are still two open next to you. The limits are endless as to the type of person you could end up spending multiple hours of your life with, in close proximity. Are they going to be a talker? A snorer? A techy? Awkward? Or will you end up with someone normal? I’m aware that normal can be defined differently to other people but this time I lucked out. This girl was close to my age, relatively quiet, left one seat in between us and kept to herself. I thought this was going to be an easy flight… Boy, was I in for a surprise!
Suddenly, there it was! The Holy Spirit tugging at my heartstrings. It was prompting me to strike up a conversation with her. Quite honestly, I just didn’t feel up for it. First, I looked over and to check to see if she was sleeping, if she was sleeping I couldn’t strike up a conversation. She wasn’t sleeping. Next, I looked over to see if she was reading, if she was reading, I wouldn’t want to interrupt a pivotal moment in the plot of the book. She wasn’t reading. Suddenly I saw it! The iPod! That was it. That was my ticket out of this prompting. She’s listening to music; it’d be rude if I interrupted. I sat quietly for a few moments thinking I had gotten out of it and tried to fall asleep.
Do you think I was able to fall asleep? Absolutely not. Actually, I was so full of guilt that I started thinking of scenarios where the plane would go down, we would all die, and I would be face to face with God and he would say, “Dana, in the final moments of your life, I wanted you to tell that girl next to you that you are willing to pray for her and you didn’t. You were ashamed of me. Now, here we are at the gates of heaven, do you think I should welcome you in? I mean, if you couldn’t even tell someone you would pray for them and show them my love in that way, what makes you think you deserve to come and praise me here?”
That was all I needed. The thought of having a one on one with God right after I avoided speaking about him to a stranger made me do it. I was now committed. I was even going to tap her arm and have her take out her iPod to talk. Please note, God has a funny sense of humor because when I looked over, she only had one headphone in and it was on the opposite side of me. I had had an opening the entire time. With hands shaking and heart beating a million miles a minute I said, “You’re probably going to think I’m crazy and its ok if you do. I don’t normally do stuff like this but for some reason I feel led to tell you that if you have anything you need prayer for, I would be happy to pray with you.” Woo, deep breath after spitting that out. Much to my relief she smiled and said, “Its ok, you’re not crazy. If anything it’s nice to know that someone is willing to do that.” That is where the conversation was left. Or so I thought…
I took a few deep breaths and thought to myself, “Ok Lord, I did it. At least she didn’t treat me like I was nuts.”
Suddenly she turned to me and said, “I’m sorry, do you mind if I ask what made you do that?”
This led us into a conversation about the Holy Spirit and then I told her about my conviction about the plane crashing and my hypothetical face to face with God. I also said, “God says that if you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you. (Mark 8:38) I need God to know I am not ashamed of my faith.”
She said, “Wow, that’s really interesting.” That was the end of our conversation.
I don’t know if this conversation was supposed to go further or not and I probably could have done more. I do know one thing though, this stranger that I met on the plane will probably go and tell her friends or family about this weird girl who offered to pray for her because of this thing called the Holy Spirit. In my opinion, that is a seed that has been planted. May it come to fruition in God’s time and may that woman know that even though she didn’t have any prayer requests, I am still praying for her.