S6. That was the designated area where my shuttle driver would pick us up to drive us back to our vehicles parked in a distant parking lot. As I exited the baggage claim area and crossed the street to the pickup area for shuttles, I could see a woman dancing and snapping her fingers and mouthing some words. She was smiling, too, as I approached. It would have been difficult to be in a bad mood around this woman, her spirit was just that way.
“I want some of the coffee you drink, “I said, as I approached the pickup area, close enough to her I thought she’d be able to hear, even with all the noise from airplanes and vehicles in the pickup/dropoff area.
“The joy of the LORD is my strength,” she said.
“Well, amen,” I said, not knowing how exactly to respond.
“How you doin’ this mornin’, hon?” she said, still smiling, and swaying as if from music only she could hear.
“Doing well. Have I found the right place–the shuttle pickup to go to my vehicle back out at B21?” I responded.
“You got it, hon. I’ll take care of you. Just put your bag inside and lay it on its side so it doesn’t roll, okay, sugar?”
“Yes, ma’am. Will do.”
I was the only patron on the shuttle, when I did as she said and took a seat. I took my rolling bag and placed it as directed and then took my backpack off and put it on the seat beside me.
“Looks like you’re it, honey. But don’t you worry. I’ll take care of you.”
“Sounds great,” I said. “This is very convenient. I’m glad to have met you today,” I said.
“Honey, I’m beyond sixty years old, been driving big rigs for a career, am now retired, and I just do this here job because I love driving and I love meeting folks, and I can take care of my grandbaby,” she said.
“Well, that sounds nice. You live in the city?”
“Decatur. Just sixteen miles from here. I started driving part-time, but now I get all the hours I want. I treat folks right. I’m a recovering addict, but the Holy Spirit got a’hold of me and convicted me of my ways a long time ago, honey. Now I’m filled with the Spirit. No more drugs for me, baby, but the joy of the LORD is my strength!”
She spoke so quickly that I could not even tell when she inhaled and exhaled. She flowed with words and energy.
I let the conversation hang for a minute or two, unsure whether I could match her energy level. I’d been up since three a.m. and flown across the country. Were it not for the caffeine in my system, I could have easily dozed off, at least on the plane. But not now. She was different.
Very soon we were in the parking lot where I had parked serveral days prior.
“Honey, what type’s a car you got?”
I told her and she spotted it right away in the lane.
I took some cash from my wallet and placed it in the cup she had on her dashboard, where it bulged with singles, fives, and ten-dollar bills.
“May I share something with you?” I asked, as I put on my backpack and retrieved my rolling bag.
“Of course, hon. What you got?”
“I’m a military chaplain. And I just love hearing stories like yours. Thank you for telling me your story,” I said.
“We were supposed to meet today, hon. That’s the Lord at work, you see,” she said.
I put the cash in her white cup on the dashboard and waved to her.
“I’ll see you,” I said.
“You drive careful, hon,” she said, and honked the horn on the empty shuttle.
She was singing to herself again and smiling. And she pulled off to see who else the Lord would put in her path.