Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's a shame gossip is so denigrated in the Bible because the stories of people's lives can be quite captivating. I'll try to be neither casual nor unconstrained in my remarks. And truthful, always truthful.

On the flight from Philadelphia to Frankfurt, I shared a row but hadn't yet made her acquaintance. I noticed she carried a black NKJV Bible and a rosary. "An odd combination," I thought. She read the Bible only briefly during the long, overnight flight, from the Psalms. I couldn't tell whether she prayed the rosary, but probably.

When we landed in Frankfurt, I watched to see whether she would address Father who was traveling in the next row. She did not and I decided, mistakenly, that she was not in our party.

We changed not only flights but also terminals in Frankfurt for Lisbon. The terminals are connected by a long underground tunnel, which plenty of people walked although there is a train available. She was traveling with a couple who fell far behind and were later brought by airport transportation just before boarding. All three are Septa employees, the couple a part of the SEPTA 48 who became millionaires in the spring time lottery.

She had a thing for Our Lady and for Lourdes. Her mother had visited years ago and she felt called to imitate that. We had much in common, too much for me to be comfortable: working class childhood, married high school sweetheart, finished grad school later in life. A key difference was that she's the breadwinner in the family because her husband is chronically unemployed. On the contrary, I'm the bum here.

Her friend, who I discovered paid for her entire trip out of her lottery winnings, was a convert from an assortment of Protestant backgrounds, most recently Presbyterianism. I felt I could talk to her from that perspective and she asked me a question about the Bible. Immediately, I looked up the verses in question using the ESV Bible app on the iPhone Jeff had loaned me and we talked about them. She was impressed, saying she didn't think that Catholics "did Bible." All the Mary stuff on the trip wasn't working for her. I told her it didn't have to and she can't force it anyway. She invited me out to dinner, her treat, but I already had plans. It would have been interesting to talk with her some more but that's all we had.

8 comments:

Colleen said...

Interesting story. You are right. People's lives are interesting. We just need to make the time to listen.

Nancy Shuman said...

Yes, the stories of people's lives can indeed be captivating! Absolutely!

evanscove said...

I hope your trip has been pleasant, safe, and spiritually fruitful! And yes, it's always interesting to get out and meet others, hearing their stories and thereby being enriched ourselves.

Thanks for sharing this!

Evan

Moonshadow said...

Especially for this housewife, but there's no reason blog about it. :) Thanks for reading and commenting.

Barbara Schoeneberger said...

I agree that people's stories are really interesting. In all my life I've never met a person who didn't have an interesting story, good or bad. Hope your trip was very spiritually fruitful. Would like to make it myself some day, but that's not likely.

Moonshadow said...

Thank you, Barbara. Still keeping my eyes open to any spiritual benefits from the trip. It may take some time.

I would not say it's a trip for everyone (whereas I think going to the Holy Land is), but I'm grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Peace.

Joann Nelander said...

Gossip aside, the Bible is full of stories, from Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel,Noah and his lot, and on and on. Yes, I agree stories are interesting and we are most interested in other people's stories. The Bible reads like a soap opera at times. I'm often amazed at how little I know of people until circumstances give me a better and deeper glimpse, and then it is still only a glimpse.

kathleenbasi.com said...

The thing I think about the Bible and the people and stories in it are that I always want to know the REST of it. So much of it, in bare bones format, makes me go, "Huh? But WHY? I don't get it!" I like to know what makes ppl tick...