Earlier this month I took a flight that landed me at the Sea-Tac International Airport in Seattle, Washington. While I waited for my connecting flight, I half-read a book and half-watched the other passengers coming and going from the seating area.
I watched as an attractive young lady came and sat in the seat directly across the aisle from me. She swept the long, dark hair from her face, propped up her drag-along suitcase, and pulled her phone from her pocket. She dialed a number and adjusted her red coat, a beautiful contrast to her dark facial features.
A voice answered at the other end of the connection and the young woman began to talk softly. I didn’t understand the words she spoke, but her face I knew. Only a few minutes passed before tears began rolling down her cheeks and onto the floor. I reached into my pocket and removed the ever-present package of facial tissue. Setting my book down, I handed her a tissue. She accepted it without looking at me.
I performed the same task repeatedly during her 20 minute conversation. She didn’t once stop crying. When her call ended, I rose again. Kneeling in front of her I asked quietly, “Is there anything I can do for you?” She took the tissue I held to her and replied, “No. Thank you for the towels”, and I returned to my book and seat. She got up and walked away, pulling her luggage behind her.
I knew that everyone in that area saw her; the young couple to her right eating their hamburgers, the elderly woman with a book to her left, and all the people sitting next to me down the entire aisle. Everyone was aware that something was wrong, yet no one even looked at her or offered comfort. She was invisible.
As I prayed for her, I remembered the words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Rome. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep (Romans 12:14).