Over seventy days ago Rick and I brushed the wet sand from our tires as we pulled them out of the Pacific and started toward to the Atlantic. So after all of those days on the road we would finally be coming home. So I'm sitting in the Minneapolis airport awaiting our next and final flight that would restore me to my family, house, Oogie (Hogg Island Boa), and Baylie, my flop-eared doxie.
Nothing extraordinary about the flights with one exception: five foot four Yana. Yana happened to be our flight attendant for the Minneapolis run. This fiftyish attendant was not extraordinary in her appearance. Rather average, the kind of woman you would see but not behold. Someone you'd pass over on your way to look for someone else.
It's what she said that caught my attention. She greeted boarding passengers with a generous helping of Amens! and you're blessed.
Who is this apostle of blessing, I wondered as I devoured my serving of blessing casserole. Yana's cheerful countenance and joyous belly laugh was clearly contagious to these early morning boarders. And her antics--she was tactile; she'd throw her arm around someone even as she laughed and blessed them. It's like someone shook a Coke can and then opened it. Lots of overflow. Seems that whomever was in proximity to the overflow benefited and got just a bit of her joy.
One older man had arrived late holding a cup of coffee that he'd gotten for his wife. So Yana trailed the guy like a stalker all the way to the back trying to find the missing wife. I'm sorry you lost your wife, sir. But don't you worry. We'll find her!
Toward the end of the flight Yana the Attendant stopped by Dixie and me and when she found out that I'd bicycled from the Pacific to the Atlantic, she dramatically stood up and proclaimed to God and passengers this man is my hero; he's bicycled across the country on a sit down bike. I apparently had been the first person she'd met who had done such a crazy thing.
I'm juggling two huge carry-ons down the narrow aisle when Sistah Yana once again stopped me. Actually, yanked me into a side walkway to give me her card. You are saved by Jesus, aren't you? Thought so. I assured her that we were serving the same Lord. And that shook the Coke stewardess up again. She fairly bubbled her response: I'm a pastor too!
So we parted ways with hallelujahs and amens and promises to keep in touch. Only as I walked toward the parking lot did I read her business card:
Yana (You Are Never Alone)
Servant and Empty Vessel for the Lord
Yana's whole being embodied her business card. She had truly been a joyful witness for the Lord. I had been immeasurably uplifted, spiritually caffeinated, and blessed by a passing sistah, Yana (You Are Never Alone).
Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. Amen.