Safety Line Attach Points and Trust


March of 2009. Mom has just been admitted to hospice care. I am on my way to see Carol and the kids and I am so afraid of all that is ahead. I don’t know how I will manage her care. It seems very overwhelming. I am sitting on the plane waiting for take-off, talking to Galen about my fears. I end the conversation as we are preparing for takeoff . . . . . .

And I notice this symbol on the wing of the airplane
outside my window.

I don’t pay attention at first
but as I sit here
and think about what is ahead,
      that silly circle
      is all I can see
      from my window seat
      over the wing.


Lord, I feel like I am on a
      slippery slope.
      in need of a safety line.
And you remind me . . .
      a safely line is only
      as safe as the
      “attach point.”

And I know there is a lesson here for me.
I will attach my line to YOU
      as I’m learning once again to trust. 
      But I am really scared.
I know my faith dare not rest
      only on You doing
      what I want . . .
      what I think
            I need.
Please help me.
I want to trust that
      You’ll coordinate all these things
      as I am losing again.
Be patient with me
      while I learn to walk by faith yet again . . .
            trusting  the “Attach Point”
            is SAFE.

When I return home, I ask a dear family friend, John Tyler who is a retired American Airlines Mechanic. He tells me that in the emergency, the emergency door is opened but on a narrow-bodied plane like this one, there is no chute. The passengers slide down the flaps – the first person out attaches a rope to this “safety line attach point,”  and it is used as a safety rope/guide line for those leaving the plane.

“Keep me safe, O God,

I’ve run for dear life to you.
I say to GOD, “Be my Lord!”
Without you, nothing makes sense.
My choice is you, GOD, first and only.
And now I find I’m your choice!
Psalm 16:1&2, 5     The Message