In-transit places are not always the nicest or safest places to spend time in. I remember at one time, standing in a crowded room at the border immigration post, when someone standing too close to me, reached from behind, and squeezed their hands around my waist. They must have been a thief, feeling for the wallet on me. That brief action hurt me to the core, because I felt violated in a big way. I hated being in that place, and I hated being touched in that abusive manner.
I have also been in international airports where I had to endure long hours of waiting for connecting flights. At one time I was in three airports from 6.00hrs till 23.00hrs. That journey was both scary and exhausting for me. I was traveling alone, and it was my first time being in the USA from Africa. I was supposed to arrive at my last airport by 14.00hrs and get picked up by the hotel shuttle. Nothing was going according to schedule, but I kept in touch with the hotel, and they made sure that there would be someone waiting for me at the airport. I had the guy’s name and I kept updating him on my flight changes.
When I finally arrived at the airport at 23.00hrs, this guy was there waiting for me by the luggage area. He was waiting with a surprise in his car, his wife! Oh, how that made me feel comfortable and give me peace. God knew how nervous and fearful I was already, and gave this guy the idea to bring along his wife. He suspected that I would have issues of trust, driving down the fifteen minute partly dark and deserted highway to the hotel. I thank God for taking care of that little, but delicate detail.
I continue to struggle with being in strange places and unfriendly environments. But of late, I have started looking at these places as if they were airports. I am not home but in transit, I would remind myself. So I should not expect total comfort or peace. I just have to stay conscious of the fact that God will take care of even the tiniest detail of my stay in that place.
In airports, you can also meet some people who are friendly; though the majority are mainly aloof, with a few being downright hostile like the person who molested me at the cross border transit point.
Now, places are made of people coming and going to different places. In making relationships, we need to remember that we are all passing through. Some attitudes are not worth grinding your teeth over. Let them pass you by. In one of the homes I have had the courtesy of being a guest, the girls there were exceptionally nasty to me. They were uncomfortable about sharing their spacious bedroom with a stranger. Once I took that room to be like an airport, I was okay with the nastiness; I was passing through.
In life we also need to be careful about the relationships we hold on to. In some cases, its best to say hello and move forward quickly. You cannot hold on to an airport relationship. Let them pass through. Don’t get all upset by their lack of care or aloofness; let them go. An airport does have restaurants to keep you fed, bathrooms to clean yourself in; but they will never take the place of home.
Don’t settle for the ‘in-transit’ type of relationships. They have very little to offer. ‘Above all else, guard your heart’, says the bible in Proverbs 4:23, ‘for it is the well-spring of life’.
Many years ago, I got into one such ‘in-transit’ relationship. I didn’t know that it was that kind of relationship when I got into it. It lasted six years, and in those few years, my man had other women coming and going in his life. I thought that I would outlast everyone else and remain the ‘anchor woman’, since I was the mother of his two boys. But sadly, I was no match for the competition, and for a couple more years to come, I had to nurse a broken heart and look after abandoned children.