Look down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touch down on the cold black top
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breath in the familiar shock
of confusion and chaos
All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared?
Give me your eyes for just one moment,
Give me your eyes so I can see.
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
"Give me your eyes", by Brandon Heath from the album What if We
As I listened to this song my mind drifted to all of the airports that I have been in over the years, both for business and personal travel. All of those people going somewhere - people that I have seen, walked past, sat next to and yet, will never know. Why have I never cared?
Those words began to haunt me. I know that it is impossible to meet everyone that we encounter, but it is not impossible to meet a few and certainly not impossible to care. I made a concious decision - as much as it is possible, I will get to know something about the people that sit next to me on every flight. Instead of just being the person in seat 24B I would work to place an identity with the individual. What a difference that decision has made in my life and my travels.
A young man sits next to me in the last row, middle seat of a very full flight from Newark to Denver. He's going home to visit his mother and siblings for a week before being deployed to Afghanistan for the next two years. He spoke lovingly of his mother and her heroic efforts to home school her four children while working to provide for their future. I thought of his mother and felt a tug on my heart - she must feel a combination of excitement to see her son and fear for his well being when he leaves again next week.
A woman about my age shares the exit row with me on a recent trip to Phoenix. She was going to plan the funeral of her mother, who'd passed away unexpectedly the night before. She shared stories of her mother and even laughed a little at the memories. As we touched down on the Phoenix runway I stole a glance her way. Tears were running down her cheeks as she looked out the window and I felt tears of my own begin to well up.
A middle-aged business man sits next to me on a trip from Dallas to Guatemala City. He is traveling to Guatemala City to visit his family and he spoke of the poverty and war that has taken hold in the city and made its people captive. But his pride for his country shone through as he described the beautiful countryside and the gentle spirit of the Guatemalan people. I explained that I was traveling with a medical team, on our way to hold a clinic in a remote mountain village. As we stood to exit the plane, he touched my shoulder and said, "you will be blessed for this". And oh, how I have been.
Give me your eyes for just one minute, give me your eyes so I can see. Everything that I keep missing, give me your love for humanity.....
Brandon Heath - Give Me Your Eyes