Sunday, February 08, 2009

Angels among us

One of my strangest travel stories is also one of my first.

In the summer of 2001, I went to Brazil on a mission trip for 6 weeks. I don't think it's an overstatement to say that that experience changed the course of my life.

On the way home I was so sad to be leaving Brazil. I cried and cried on the bus to the airport, and took one of my relaxant pills to get some sleep on the plane.

I sat next to a woman who I don't remember talking to until our descent. She was an older woman from the northern US who was traveling in her retirement with some of her girlfriends. She asked why I had been in Brazil, and in my muscle relaxant stupor and sad tears, I told her about the trip.

She then gave me the coin pictured above. I'm not an "angel" type person; nothing against them, it has just never been a key point of my theology. But the gesture touched me deeply and made the tears flow more quickly. As we reached our destination I said goodbye and soon forgot her.

But the strange thing is that since that day, I have carried that coin in my wallet. Almost 8 years now. Of all the things I've lost, I haven't lost that coin. Of all the travels, illnesses, wallet changes... it remains in my coin purse to this day.

Such a small token of kindness, but I believe it has reverberated through the years, and I don't think it's done with me, yet.

1 comment:

Alyson said...

I like that story. When I was in Salzburg, I put a chestnut in my pocket for good luck (not that I believe in luck, but hey, it's fun). They say if you keep it in your pocket for a year, it's lucky. Well, it's been in my pocket now for almost 7 years!