Thursday, December 27, 2007

Our Christmas Miracle

by Keith Giles

Our flight out of Little Rock was delayed over an hour. This meant we'd miss our connecting flight out of Dallas by almost forty-five minutes. Our options were limited. According to the American Airlines representative we could either fly to Dallas and take our chances on stand-by flights or we could spend the night in Little Rock and try again on Sunday.

Looking at my two elementary-aged sons standing huddled together with my wife and her sister beside the boarding gate I decided to take our chances on stand-by in Dallas, even though it might mean splitting up our group on separate flights, or possibly spending the night in a Dallas hotel and flying out on Sunday morning.

Our house church had scheduled a massive Christmas gift-wrapping and distribution party for the next day. If we ended up staying in Dallas we'd miss the whole thing, and half of the gifts were in our house which would mean they wouldn't be available to wrap or to pass out to the children who were expecting them.

We boarded the flight to Dallas and breathed prayers for a miracle.

In Dallas I sprinted off the plane and was shocked to learn that our flight was still in the gate. Even though it should have left orignally at 5:50pm, (and it was now 7:15pm), the flight was now scheduled to leave at 7:25pm. Just ten minutes.

We were standing in terminal B and our flight was leaving out of terminal D in just under ten minutes. I told my family to do their best to keep up and then began running my guts out to reach the gate for our plane before it left the terminal.

After the first half mile I was feeling the burn. By the second half mile I was beginning to wonder if there was any sense in continuing to run. Soon I was completely unable to run due to exaustion and my pace had slowed to a fast walk.

Finally, I arrived at the gate. There was no one around other than one AA employee standing beside the Gate door which was open. There were no passengers anywhere. I managed to sprint the final few yards and handed her my boarding passes. She checked me onto the flight and instructed me to board the plane because it was leaving the gate any moment. I informed her that there were four other people right behind me who needed to be on that plane with me before I could board.

A few seconds later my family was in view. They ran the final steps and we checked onto the plane.

As we collapsed into our seats the pilot came over the intercom and apologized for not leaving the gate earlier because, although they had been ready to leave several minutes ago, there was a strange aircraft sitting right behind us that was blocking our exit. As soon as the aircraft moved out of the way, our plane could taxi out of the gate and leave. He apologized again for the unnatural delay.

My wife and I looked at each other and smiled through our breathless gasps for air. A few seconds later our plane began to back out of the gate.

We were going home.



Maria said...

Amazing! An angel airplane?

Merry Christmas!

Richard said...

Very cool, thanks for sharing your Christmas miracle.

Oh, Maria, angels have wings don't they. :)