A few weeks ago, I stopped for lunch in the Charlotte Airport.
I decided to grab some barbeque and noticed a mix of “low” tables and “high” tables in the dining area. All of the low ones were full, so I made my way over to a high one. (I do hate the tall tables. My feet dangle from the chair, and I always have trouble scooching closer to my food.)
I was a few bites into my meal, when a middle-aged woman—seated at a table to my left—leaned over and said, “Are you beginning your journey or ending your journey?”
I assumed that she was not asking a philosophical question, so I said, “I’m in the middle” (which, now that I think of it, would have nailed the philosophical question as well).
She then began telling me about how she was flying back to California after visiting her college-aged son in North Carolina. I nodded and said that I was heading back to DC, and we exchanged a few pleasantries. In the course of this normal stranger-in-an-airport conversation, I asked the lady what she did for a living. She paused and said, “I pray.”
Yes, that’s what she said.
She told me that she was a full-time pray-er. That she, and a group of people she associated with, traveled around the country and prayed at different locations. They prayed at state capitals. They prayed at U.S. borders. They even prayed over electrical grids.
They did an awful lot of praying.
And I admit, there was a part of me that thought this conversation had taken a strange turn. But there was an even bigger part of me—the part of me that I like—that thought this was intriguing. I was sitting across from a woman who prayed more in a week than I did in 6 months. You could tell there was something special about her, a groundedness or something. So I kept listening and threw in an occasional amen. (“Amen” being code for I-pray-too-and-approve-of-what-you-do.)
At the end of our conversation—and my barbeque and fixin's—the lady asked me if there was something specifically I’d like her to pray for. I thought for a second and said, “Would you pray that I win the Mega Millions lottery?”
When you have a full-time pray-er who’s ready to go to bat for you … well, you don’t mess around.
So I shared something personal, and she said she’d start praying as soon as I left the table. With that said, I gathered up my backpack and lunch trash and headed down to Terminal E …
… with the warmth of a full-time pray-er’s words still in my ears.