Aliens in a Strange Land

I discovered today that the conference was not cancelled, the theme was changed. The theme of the conference is not on the use of narrative in forming missional communities, taught by Patrick Keifert, Mark Love, and Stephen Johnson but instead it is on the incarnational spiritual practice of patience, taught by Delta Airlines.

We are sitting in the departure lounge in Dallas, having played our hand and we are waiting to see if it works out. Our scheduled flight was supposed to leave tomorrow (Wednesday and arrive in Buffalo at 1pm, right during the worst of the storm). We called today to make sure things were cool and they said the connector for our flight from Atlanta to Buffalo was already cancelled. We would arrive at the airport tomorrow and discover that we were pooched. We rebooked this morning for a couple of flights this afternoon that would get us to Buffalo a day early via Detroit. Success! Let’s go to the airport.

So Pedro drove us to the airport and did a bang up job! Actually, we arrived in one piece. There was only one entrance ramp to the airport open but we were at least at the airport.

When we arrived we were confronted with a picture of haggard humanity. I was reminded of Matthew’s description of the crowd Jesus encountered in Matt 9:36 “They were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Since no planes had arrived, the only people at the airport were people who had sat on planes early this morning for 2+ hours only to be told to get back out again. The planes on the ground overnight in Dallas were covered with ice and the equipment wasn’t clearing it very effectively. After a couple hours of trying they ordered everyone off the planes and the rebooking olympics began. Basically, all the flights originating out of Dallas were grounded. The larger flights that were stopping in Dallas on the way somewhere were the only way out. Our flight to Detroit got delayed, then cancelled so we played our hand: A wide body from Detroit was arriving early this evening and was going to be returning to Motown. We would get to Detroit but we would likely be arriving too late to continue on to Buffalo. This would mean we might have to wait until Wed morning to make our connection. If that happened, there is a chance we would not get out before the storm gets to Buffalo. If Buffalo airport closes before our connecting flight gets off the ground we’re screwed.

We’ll see how it goes.

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