On life’s journey, you may be entertaining angels unaware

March 9, 2024 | writing

This Soul Seeing column appeared in the March 9 issue of the National Catholic Reporter:

Air travel is not for the faint of heart. Although I don’t have a fear of flying, I do have a fear of pretty much everything else involved: getting through security, missing my connection, losing my luggage, etc. So when a recent trip from Milwaukee to upstate New York devolved into a multi-day travel odyssey, I was amazed to find myself reveling in the experience.

It began after I’d led a five-day retreat for the Pallottine Fathers on the Wisconsin-Illinois border and was dropped off at the airport five hours before my flight. Armed with a new novel, a cup of coffee and a two-hour webinar on compassion and courage, I patiently whiled away the hours. As the time for my flight to Detroit neared, a delay was posted and I knew there was no way I’d make my connection. Attempts to get rerouted proved unsuccessful, so I returned to my seat, accepting the likelihood that I’d be sleeping in the Detroit airport on the travel yoga mat packed in my carry-on. A stranger sitting nearby suggested I try to get on the flight to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, which was boarding at the gate opposite ours. My first angel on this trip.

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