Two observations hit me when I arrive at London Heathrow airport.
The first is: I’m home.
Although I haven’t lived in England for…well, many years, that quirky-shaped little island the other side of the Atlantic is heart-shaped to me.
I will always be British regardless of how long I have lived out of the country. Born on the east coast, my family are now spread across the south of England. My husband’s family comes from the north. My daughter is a Londoner, although she hasn’t lived there since six-weeks-old.
As our plane lands in London, I want to respond like the Pope, who walks down the steps from the airplane, gets on his knees, and kisses the ground. This is not a sign of relief for finally being on terra firma, although sometimes a bumpy flight can make me feel that way, but love and respect for the country and its people.
However, I usually disembark using a jet bridge. By the time I’ve negotiated passport control, baggage claim, and customs I’ve forgotten all about this act of reverence and, anyway, the airport terminal floor doesn’t look that clean.
Instead, I anticipate what waits for me on the other side of the double doors, which swing open as I approach.
A throng of faces of all ages, colors, and nationalities stares at me. I wish I spied a familiar one. A motley group of limousine drivers line up with cards displaying long or short, and often unpronounceable, names. I squeeze my way past women in saris, some in burkas with small children trailing alongside them, sun-burned retiree couples back from a week of tanning in the Costa del Sol, babies held on mother’s hips, and airline flight attendants, noticeable in their sleek uniforms, making much faster progress towards the exit than myself.
This is Heathrow! It is, after all, one of the busiest airports in the world. Travelers arrive, depart, and pass through on their way to many worldwide destinations: Bangalore, Singapore, Dubai, Cape Town, and Boston.
Some spill over into the huge, throbbing, cosmopolitan city of London.
Yet, one more thing strikes me: God sees the masses, and he loves each and every person.
We know this from scripture: Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion on them. At the same time, Jesus cared for each man, woman and child. He likened people to sheep and himself to a shepherd. He called himself the Good Shepherd, who would search for and rescue even one lost sheep.
Jesus may see a multitude, but He knows every individual.
God sees you when you feel harassed and you’re on a long difficult journey. God knows if you have lost your way, and feel helpless. God understands if you find yourself in a desolate place, and don’t know which way to turn.
Take comfort that you’re not lost in a sea of faces, or your needs are insignificant to other people’s problems. God loves and has time for you.
Jesus also instructed his followers to go out into the world and feed his sheep.
Today, in big cities, the world comes to us. Look around you. Notice the individuals who cross your path; the woman working alongside you, the man serving you in the store, and the family member living life with you. How can you feed them with God’s love?
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This week, I am linking up with Kim Cunningham at #LittleThingsThursday, Amy Schlichter at #LookingUp, Susannah Kellogg at #FaithandFellowship, Susan Mead at #DancewithJesus, Holly Barrett at #TestimonyTuesday, Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup and Crystal Storms at #IntentionalTuesday, Natalie Venegas at Salt & Light, Susan B. Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth
This is such a sweet reminder of God’s love for us. It’s truly amazing how God sees each and every one of us, no matter how many of us there are! Thank you for this encouragement. I would love to feature this tomorrow at Grace and Truth.
Just imagine the comfortable, cozy sensation when we reach our Heavenly home. Unimaginable really but I’ve thought more of it since my Dad’s passing.
Cheri, cozy and comfortable will be SO nice. Grateful for you and your comments.
Rachel, what a beautiful thought when looking out into the crowd to realize God knows each person individually. It reminds me of how John described the worshippers in Heaven, “… from every nation, tribe, people and language …” Thank you, Rachel, for reminder that God calls each of us to feed His sheep and show them His love. Thank you also for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday on Intentionally Pursuing. : )
Rachel, I love this! Sometimes the world comes to us. Indeed. And we need to be paying attention so that we don’t miss any of those divine opportunities God puts in our way. Love your pictures too. England is the place I’ve always wanted to visit! Thanks for linking up to Testimony Tuesday!
The airport always reminds me of God’s awesome creativity. He made each of us so unique and different! The airport is just one of those places where we can see the diverse population He created. And you are so right – even though there are so MANY of us, He cares about each one of us! Such a great perspective today. Visiting from #intentionaltuesdays:)
I LOVED reading this! (I also recently flew into Heathrow to attend my brother’s wedding)
I know how you feel. I feel this way about landing in Bangkok. It’s homey and there are all kinds of people there. I loved our years of living so multi-internationally. It was a rich time. It’s not that way where I am currently. There aren’t many distinctives and that can be a challenge for me at times.
Oh Rachel, how lovely. Home. And to see the need for God as you walked through the throng of people. Thank you for sharing your words with us here today. I needed to read them today. Hugs! Susan
Found you via #DanceWithJesus
Thanks for this simple story and truth. That’s a wonderful thought to have as you work your way through a crowd, and one I’ll try to keep in mind : ) Blessings!
Thanks Bethany and it’s nice to meet you through #DanceWithJesus
I know how you feel about going home. I’ve not lived where I was raised for 40 years and yet going home is a pilgrimage. We go to the top of the Rocky Mountains and glory in God’s creation! Thank you for this post! Wishing you well!
Whereabouts is home in the Rocky Mountains? They are so beautiful. We are actually in the Rockies at the moment and my blog post next week is going to be about the mountains.
Well, I mostly look at the weather, instead of kissing the ground when we arrive in Schiphol, Amsterdam, but I know what you mean:) And weddings are often beautiful and/or fun.
Always good to come “home” but also glad to get back to California where life is so much more comfortable!
Like you say, it is nice to have and live with a foot in two different countries.
Coming home is always good. Have a great day!
Especially if someone is waiting for you.
Sometimes a simple smile is all it takes to make someone’s day. Yet, how many times do we go through our day and through the motions and never leave a smile for someone. Cashier at the grocery store, a co-worker who needs another thing from us, a child who is grating on our nerves or even our spouses. A simple smile, is all that is needed! Visiting from Looking Up link party.
What a lovely idea and so simple, yet a smile can make someone’s day.