Walking Humbly…..Sometimes

One of my favorite Bible verses is one that goes unnoticed most of the time, even by the most devout ‘thumpers’. It is Micah 6:8 and says, in part, that God only requires a few things, among them to “act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly (with your God)”. Recently I had the chance ‘to walk the walk’ and I failed, somewhat failed anyway.

On a very crowded airplane the man in front of me thrust his seat back as far as it would go as soon as possible after take off.  His shiny bald head was no more than 12 inches from my face. I could not even read my book because of the overlap from his seat back. My wife looked at me half in sympathy and half in fear of my reaction. The flight attendant grimaced sympathetically when she tried to serve me coffee. I was outraged at the discomfort the man was putting me to by his actions. Did he not know I was traveling with an elderly mother-in-law and I was stressed enough? To add insult to injury, he bobbed up and down several times to converse with members of his family and sat down hard enough to shake dust from his chair into my already violated space. I resorted to blowing gently on his head in hopes that the breeze would give him a clue but the seat stayed back until we were near landing.

Fortunately for me, halfway through the flight, after another bout of blowing on his head, I started laughing at myself. “Walking humbly”? “Loving mercy”? Not me, not at first! I thought my needs were more important than his. I thought he should be aware of everything around him, especially me. Well, I was certainly aware of him and my feelings weren’t making the world better. I laughed at how far I had yet to go in order to ‘walk (or ride) humbly’ and just laughing made the trip much better.  I noticed the gentleman was working with a couple of children and an older woman who could have been his mother-in-law. Maybe he needed to lean back now and then.

After the flight I just had to see the face of this person. When our eyes caught there was not a flicker of recognition in his; he was too busy trying to get everyone’s luggage for them. Most likely I was looking at a man who was doing a better job with Micah than I was even if he never heard of it. Putting faith into practice is tough and evidently someone thought a little more practice would be good for me.

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About Edward

Dishwasher, bartender, cook, house painter, movie usher, Marine helicopter pilot, teacher, administrator, teacher again, retired teacher, Secular Franciscan, Lay Ecclesial Minister- it's been an interesting ride.
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