Saturday, 1 December 2012
Who’s flying the plane?
One morning, as I was having breakfast in a hotel room, the receptionist called to let me know there was a man waiting in the lobby.
I did not expect anyone that morning, since my host already had made all arrangements for my ride to the airport. The receptionist connected me to the visitor using the in-house telephone.
“I came to thank you for your help,” he told me in a grateful voice.
“What for?” I was curious.
“For saving my life!” he said, surprising me. “I was in your audience last night. I thought you were talking about myself in your speech. Thank you for helping me!”
Now I was even more curious! When he asked me to pray with him, I invited him to come up to my room.
While I waited for him, I thought over the previous night. I had spoken at a dinner meeting arranged by some friends who were interested in spiritual things. They had invited some of their colleagues, and they had asked me to speak to the group.
I talked on our relationship with God. I explained how our relationships are affected due to the damage caused by sin and that man was made in the image of God; but due to man’s sin, his image was defaced. Of course, the good news is that our defaced images can be restored in Jesus Christ. And when our relationship with God is restored, other relationships follow-relationships with others, in the sociological dimension, relationships with ourselves, in the psychological dimension and even our relationship with the environment, in the ecological dimension. We can demonstrate this restoration by subjecting our beliefs to the test of experience. This was what I shared with the group.
When my visitor arrived, I showed him to a seat. He began to talk immediately: “Several times I have thought of attempting suicide, but then I thought of others, it prevented me from doing it.” He went on to describe his strained relationships at home and at work.
He told me that he reached the point where he couldn’t even stand the sight of other people talking when he was around them, because he always assumed they were talking about him. He said he almost became psychotic. He did not want to live, and was waiting for an opportunity to take his life. This was disturbing: it became more so when he informed me that he was a commercial airline pilot. He hinted that he had even attempted suicide.
“Then,” he said, a smile lighting up his face, “I heard you speak. And now everything has changed! I do not want to die; I only want to live. And I know God will help me to do so, and He will help restore me and my relationships.”
After we prayed together and he left, I began to think of people like this man in whose hands we place our lives and safety. I was grateful that God had used me to help this man. God also helped me see that when we open ourselves to be used by Him, we may well be helping many other people, too. In this case, those who could have been passengers in an airplane flown by a troubled and suicidal person!