Upon boarding in Toronto, we were informed by the pilot that our plane would have to undergo a de-icing treatment before take-off. Now apparently (according to some Canadian veterans, haha) this is normal in Alberta during the fall and winter season, but it was the first time I have ever experienced a pre-flight spray down. Let me tell you, it's nothing like those automatic car washes at the gas station!
After misting and melting the snow, the robotic arms began to spew out this fluorescent green slime. Within minutes, the wings and jet fans were doused in the limey goop and we proceeded to the tarmac to take off. In line, I could see that the other planes had been given the same treatment. Somehow our slick coating was supposed to protect the wing machinery from freezing. When we reached the take-off strip and the turbos began to scream, I watched as we picked up speed and the goop on the wings rippled down the slope of the wing and sprayed off the ends. It left me wondering how many planes would spin out on our slimy leftovers.
But as my journey continued by air, I noticed that even though the majority of slime blew off during our first ascent, traces of green still were visible in some crevices of the wing. I smiled to myself when we landed in Haiti when I saw that same green goop still hanging on to the sides of our plane. Not that we needed it anymore, but it survived the trip.
It made me think more about my trips back and forth between my summer and winter homes... Even though I am brought into a new culture, climate and language, there are still traces of both countries that are visible in my life. Certain cues will trigger memories in Canada that are a part of my life in Haiti, and vice versa. No matter where I am, I carry pieces of both my Canadian life and Haitian life. Like the green slime on my plane, I have been marked.
As 2011 commences and I look ahead to the next 360 days, I am challenged by the symbol of my plane's spray down. I am so blessed by the times I have been doused in love and joy and beauty. The times when I am a recipient of generosity, or when God's word speaks to me and impacts me so powerfully.
But there are also dry times. Moments where I linger in regret or loneliness and I struggle to make sense of circumstance. It's in these moments that I pray that the traces of goodness still linger. That the closeness of the Lord would be apparent and I would hold on and trust.
And just as traces of people and places are marked on my life, I pray that I would leave evidence of love and reminders of peace in the lives of those around me. Thank you for your prayers for me in this coming year. Pray that I don't miss the divine moments that the Lord has in store, and that as I strive to share the love of Jesus, that I may be like the green slime that doesn't let go.