• Jane Wheeler

My Nephew the Pilot




I have maintained for years that there is always something good in a day, even if the day has been going poorly. Sometimes you have to look for the good and it can be something small or at other times it shows up in dramatic ways and takes you off guard.


Take my airport travelling days for instance…..


Airports can be fascinating even amidst this year’s slow down. I find this time, this week no exception; always something to see.


Planes litter the tarmac in front of me here in Calgary, some sit covered in snow, vacant and empty. Some with blinking lights signaling movement and proof of life. The little carts that dart all over with the ground crew blink up at me as if to say “all is well”. But it is not.


I am sitting by myself draped in my mask in what should be a busy thoroughfare in Calgary. The internal shuttle cars that transfer people from building to building are not in sight as they are not running. Shops are hit and miss as to being open but what is most noticeable is the lack of people.


In what should be a people crush atmosphere only a handful go by. It is lonely and quiet here.


I sit back and survey what is probably billions of dollars in revenue to build and run this airport and it is sparse of people. Activity still happens as planes empty and a string goes by me, but it is nothing like before. Planes are not filled, yet each flight takes a full flight crew.


On my flight down to my destination I stopped in Calgary for a layover. I had been sitting by myself in a corner of the airport reading. A while before we were to board the plane, I got up to take a walk from gate B38 and stretch my legs for a bit. When I came back the spot where I had been had filled up so I sat in another section. When they called my plane to board, from the exact spot I had been sitting at before came this handsome pilot decked out in his uniform. A broad grin spread across my face as I recognized my nephew Shaun but more incredulously was he came from the exact spot I had been sitting in.


Unbeknown to each other we had sat in the same spot and missed each other by minutes. He was boarding the same plane catching a ride home. What a delightful surprise that was!


Now on my return home I am sitting in the same corner by the big glass window and my view is of an empty airplane gate below me, from my perch I can only see one gate. Suddenly it springs to life as the ground crew comes into my view and dart about. I watch as a plane taxi’s in from the runway and is directed to the gate in front of me and brought to a stop.


I decide to walk away from my spot by the window and over to the charging station to plug my phone in.


The thought suddenly comes to me to take a chance and text my nephew the pilot to see if by chance he is in the airport at the same time again.


I get a quick response that says he is at gate B36 and I am at gate B38, excitedly I glance around to see where B36 is. I am stunned when I realize the window I was sitting at was gate B36 and rush over to the window.


Stunned I look out at the plane that just rolled in and there in the pilot’s seat is my nephew waving at me.


What an absolute delight and joy as the light bulb went off in my head that I had the privilege of watching my nephew land and park the plane!


When he disembarked, we were able to chat for a short visit before he had to run to catch another plane home and I was the proudest auntie in the whole airport!


I am not a believer in coincidences, I am a believer in divine appointments where God orchestrates the moments of our day. On these 2 days I was given a gift of literally running into my nephew in the same spot of the airport. I have done a lot of travelling in and out of Calgary airport and it has never happened that we have ever been there at the same time. Now, down and back we had the fun of literally running into each other. How cool is that?! In my mind those were amazing and delightful God gifts.


It is moments like those that spark the curiosity in me to ask in childlike wonder each morning: “God what will be our adventure today?” and wait to see what happens. It makes life very exciting!

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