Putting Us to Shame

by Steve Ray on February 9, 2018

My wife and I are on a plane home from Israel. We watch as a young man stands among the crowd of passengers. He is uttering muffled chants under his breath and bobbing up and down. His chin is wagging under his serious eyes and his black hat. His prayer shawl with the many knotted tassels is under his black suit. His Hebrew Prayer Book is open as he stands facing Jerusalem. Which way is Jerusalem?

He must be guessing at the direction of Jerusalem because we are in a plane 35,000 feet over the Mediterranean Sea, or Turkey, and he is standing at his seat bobbing and weaving. He must be guessing. Periodically he raises the Hebrew Scriptures to lips to kiss the Word of G-d (they never write the word “God” or pronounce it out of great respect).

We’ve seen planes with the isle full like this too

People are staring at him, others ignore him. But he doesn’t give a rip what anyone thinks. He is in the presence of the G-d of his fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is attempting to obey the 3,000 year old commands of Moses and that is all that matters to him.

He just sat down. While others turn off their reading lights and cover their eyes to sleep, this Orthodox Jew continues reading his Hebrew Bible–living in the holy memory of his people and their God.

Other than my wife and I — crossing ourselves to pray when the plane took off — I didn’t notice any Christians displaying their faith openly. Maybe there aren’t any Christians on this plane; yet again, maybe there are some on board but they are keeping it to themselves.

Will you be ashamed to show your faith today, or will you too live the whole day in the presence of God? We are going to do our best to demonstrate the reality and love of God–and to show our devotion to him.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joshua February 9, 2018 at 7:30 PM

Hello Steve and thank you for your thought-provoking post. I am a recent convert and would also like to encourage all faithful, fellow Catholics to not hesitate in wearing visible signs of our faith when we travel. This is a simple way of evangelizing; it speaks for itself and if we are duly kind, joyful, and reverent, our co-travelers will make the right connections. What’s more, visibly wearing a rosary or pin or medal helps us to think and act more like Jesus with regard to the world, lest we be guilty of hypocrisy. What better place to be this visible light than in a crowded plane or terminal full of frustrated, impatient, and likely lost people. We never know where these little things will lead. Safe travels.

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