Missed Opportunity

Did you ever sit beside an annoying passenger on a plane ?

I was sitting beside the window on a plane going to Mexico.

My research hadn’t been going well, and I felt discouraged.

So my husband suggested that I take a vacation to Mexico, for a change of pace.

He was really busy at work, and my friends had family responsibilities, so I was travelling alone.

A young man with a tattoo on his right hand sat down beside me and greeted me warmly. I said hello, and continued reading my Bible, hoping he would get the message that I didn’t want to talk.

Then, he did the unthinkable. He pulled out a bottle of liquor from his carry-on, and offered me a drink in a tiny plastic cup. I remember that it was ‘Bailey’s Irish Cream’. Again I rejected his offer of hospitality, and I watched with amazement as he passed out tiny cups to the passengers around us, avoiding the notice of the stewardesses.

He tried to engage me again, and asked : ‘ Are you a Christian ?’ Again, I weakly responded ‘yes’, and kept on with my reading.

Still determined, he asked : ‘Is that a Bible you’re reading?’ I told him that yes, it was, and I kept on reading. He did not speak to me again.

After the plane landed, the Holy Spirit impressed on my heart that I had missed an opportunity to share the Good News of Salvation with the young man. I could have told him about Jesus, and how He had changed my life. I could have told him that I used to drink and party before my conversion experience.

Instead, I had pre-judged the young man. His tattoo had made me wrongly think that this was someone who would not be interested in hearing about Jesus, our friend, brother, and Redeemer.

May the Lord make us sensitive to people who are interested in Christianity. They may be people that we least expect.

This, of course, occurred before strict travel restrictions were enacted. He certainly couldn’t have been able to smuggle alcohol onto a plane these days.

I would suggest that airlines prohibit passengers from wearing long, artificial nails when they are on planes. These can be dangerous, and they scare me !

Perhaps that is because I was once scratched by a cat as a child.

Photo by Filip Glieda

48 thoughts on “Missed Opportunity

  1. Your post made me smile… in our congregation I am in charge of security. An elderly lady came up to me and asked if I knew that couple that had just come in… I said no, they are new. She told me to keep an eye on them… I inquired why she thought I should do that… she said did you see those tattoos on him! (i died laughing inside). I smiled and said I think they are fine, but I will keep an eye on them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think we will missed opportunities at times, and can only pray that someone else gets the chance to share the gospel with them in future. It can be so easy to talk ourselves out of sharing our faithh but I once heard someone say that when we do this, we are rejecting the gospel on that persons behalf.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, Andy, those are really good points.
      That is an interesting way of expressing not sharing our faith : ‘when we do this, we are rejecting the gospel on that persons behalf.’ Thanks βš˜πŸ€—

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, Pene, so true. He is open to the call of the spirit, and I’ve also been hoping that the Father has sent someone who evangelized better than I did. Thanks πŸ€—βš˜

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Obviously, you are not alone. Most of us need to be in prayer for those who may miss Heaven because we missed the opportunity . . . and for ourselves for how we may have treated our Lord when we missed a God-meeting!
    Matthew 25:35-46
    So glad He is merciful, like the song says, “For the wrongs we have done, and the wrongs done to us, are nailed there with Him, there on the Cross.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have had such missed opportunities and an opportunity to witness to someone when I was far from the Lord. I see every failure or success as an opportunity to learn and be better next time. Why else would we need grace? And I so agree about the nails. Scary!πŸ˜ƒβ€

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  5. Dear Sally, I never know when is the right time to have a conversation about God and I can understand you being hesitant traveling alone; and so you should. I had a mentor whose example in talking to people about God always will make me feel lacking. He always spoke of my strengths and not my weaknesses. I am sure God is like that, he points out our strengths and doesn’t dwell on my strikeouts.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yep, I have missed a few in my time, it makes me sad when I realize it. Yet God continues to bring me into situation that need a touch of Him. Of course, I can’t think of any that do not need His touch. If we are open there is always a way to bring Him into a conversation. I on purpose wear jewelry sometimes that would make someone ask me, what does that say> I have a pendant that has the world courage stamped on it, it’s a conversation piece. I did have and want again my name in Hebrew necklace, that was a great piece. I am one of those intentional people. But even with these on purpose, I get lazy, get selfish, get worried, get consumed with other things and don’t listen to God. Again, I say, what a God we serve, no punishment for our failing, just love pouring out. Oh what a Savior. Blessing Sally. Love your heart for God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Betty for your kind comments. So true, everyone needs the Lord’s touch.
      What a great idea of wearing jewelry that gives evidence of our faith and convictions.
      May Jesus give us more opportunities to share about what He has done for us. βš˜πŸ€—


  7. I’ve missed opportunities to share God’s love, like the one you mention, Sally. I try to keep the impression of these close to heartβ€”so I won’t miss the next divine opportunity. In your story, the liquor would have been a bigger turn-off to me than the tattoo. So many in my immediate family have struggled with alcohol abuse. Consequently, I do not drink and prefer to not be around people who are. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for these comments, David. I also don’t drink alcohol now since I’ve seen so much devastation in this village due to alcohol abuse.
    It is a big problem in rural Newfoundland, and probably in many places. ⚘🌷

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have had some really surprising opportunities to share the Gospel on airplanes. (I love flying “alone.”)
    I was flying with a friend once, and before takeoff, as we were both reading our Bibles, a Middle Eastern man took the third seat in our row. It was not that long after 9-11, and we couldn’t help wondering about his belief system. But then he took out his own Bible and started reading! We later had a great conversation with him. What stands out in my mind is that he asked us what our ministry was. My friend commented on that later, because she had noticed as well that he was assuming we had a ministry. I guess every Christ-follower does. Or should. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fascinating, Annie. Thanks for pointing out that all Christ-followers have ministries, ( or should). Another good example of how we should not make assumptions about anyone’s faith by the way they look. πŸ€—βš˜

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I tend to be somewhat reluctant to start sharing my faith in public venues as I think it can be alienating, and cause people to put up walls. However, i need to remember when people actually show an interest in the Bible or the Gospel, then that is likely to be a God-ordained opportunity. Thanks for the reminder, Sally πŸ™‚

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  11. Great story Sally! Thanks for the reminder to be sensitive to opportunities to share Jesus. I actually have two tattoos lol. But one is a cross with the words true love, which reminds me of the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You certainly had me going during the beginning of the story. It felt as though you were breaking from your character. You were obviously feeling hurt according to your prior experience and intention for vacating. Allowing ourselves to be free to go inside for deep reflection is also a liberty that can’t be undervalued. Perhaps the conversation could have gone in a poor direction if you didn’t follow your intuition in this matter. Furthermore, by simply sitting there with him in silence can be an effective way to minister. Be still and know that I am… is also a gentle way of letting go and letting the Spirit do the work instead of you. Consequently, that tattooed passenger may have taken on the form of a sordid sinner for you, but in truth he is the face of our living God. To reject him is to scorn ourselves, thus delay our assimilation back into Love. Unless we see Jesus in our neighbors, we remain in exile, and make ourselves into strangers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Jason. The passenger was ‘the face of our living God’. It was an opportunity I missed, and I learned from it.

      Thanks for this insightful comment. πŸ€—βš˜

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Good morning Sally, thank you for your honest sharing. J think we all have missed at least one (but probably more like several) opportunity to introduce Jesus. I pray we can all continue to share Him even if He is not received. Time is short. Have a beauty-full day in the Lord. We have gray skies and light rain, trying to get back into school work after our vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Julie – thanks so much for this comment.
      Yes, let us pray for more opportunities to share Jesus ‘even if He is not received.’

      Glad that you were on vacation, and may the Lord continue to guide and bless your studies. πŸ€—βš˜

      Liked by 1 person

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