Brief comfort can change someone forever
“Not long ago, I took an early morning flight from Wichita to Atlanta. Getting up while it was still dark was hard, but I consoled myself with the thought that at least I’d be comfortable on the plane. I had gotten an upgrade to first class, thanks to being a frequent flier. Unfortunately, after boarding the plane I found that we had been assigned to an old aircraft that did not have a first-class section. Some of the first-class passengers lost their temper and took out their frustrations on the flight crew.
It wasn’t the flight attendants’ fault, and they were doing their best to make everyone comfortable. When an attendant brought me a cup of coffee, I said to her, “You know, even though we don’t have a firstclass section today, you’re still giving us all first-class service. Thank you so much.” This flight attendant wore a name badge that said “Jessie.” She smiled and said, “Thank you for saying that. It’s been a tough morning and a rough week in general.” We talked a little bit more, and then she moved on to serve the other passengers.
We were about halfway through our flight when I saw Jessie talking with another flight attendant. They were whispering, so I could not hear what they were saying but from her tone of voice it was obvious that Jessie was distraught. I prayed and wondered what I could do to help her. After that prayer, I felt led to take out a Catholics Come Home evangelization card from my wallet and to write on the back of it: “Jessie, the hope that you seek comes only from Jesus and His Church. God loves you! Tom.” At the end of the flight, as the crew prepared for landing, Jessie came down the aisle one last time.
As she was passing my seat, she stopped and said, “I can’t thank you enough for being so nice. I just really feel that we were supposed to meet. Thank you so much.” Handing her the card with the message, I said, “Please read this when you get off the plane.”
About a week later, a letter arrived from Jessie. She wrote, “My name is Jessie. You were on my flight, and you handed me a card with a note on the back. How did you know I was so desperately in need of that message? I want to thank you. I have not stopped crying since I read your note and went to your website. I was raised Catholic, but had been away from the Church and God for many years. I’m recently divorced and struggling with the emptiness of being alone. I have been searching for a man to be in my life and I have found that man. It’s God.”
Jessie had gone back to Mass and came home to God [days before her letter was received].
Excerpt taken from Chapter 7, “Home for Good” from Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life, by Tom Peterson (Image Books, 2013). Used by permission.
Network TV producer, author and evangelist, TOM PETERSON is founder of CatholicsComeHome.org and VirtueMedia. org, following 25 years as an award-winning ad executive. He hosts the popular TV series “Catholics Come Home ,” and was vice chairman of Legatus International Board of Governors, helping charter the Phoenix and Atlanta Chapters.
In order that the message of salvation can show the power of its truth and radiance before men, it must be authenticated by the witness of the life of Christians. “The witness of a Christian life and good works done in a supernatural spirit have great power to draw men to the faith and to God.