A HEALING ENCOUNTER
“Why don’t you move back here to Asia?” Isabella wasn’t one to mince words. “I can see you have a heart for this country. You should move back here!”
Isolation and Loneliness
I had only known Isabella for about half an hour. Mutual friends had arranged for me to meet this young Asian woman at the beginning of my East Asia trip, to pass on a gift from the U.S. As she helped me exchange money at the airport and find the right ticket counter to check in for my next flight, we chatted about her children and how she came to know Christ, and about the East Asian city where I had taught English for four years.
“I would love to live here again, if it’s what God has for me,” I said quietly as I finished checking my bag, received my boarding pass, and stepped away from the ticket counter. “But it was a very difficult situation when I was in Asia before. It was very stressful and lonely. Before I live here again, I need to be sure that I have a good team – good support…” Suddenly my voice cracked as a knot welled up in my throat. The effects of those years of isolation and loneliness go deep. “I’m sorry,” I mumbled, wiping tears with the back of my hand.
With a softened expression, Isabella put her hand on my shoulder and looked directly into my eyes. “The Lord sees your sacrifice,” she said gently.
It felt like one of those scenes in the movies when everything around you seems to go into slow-motion. The throngs of people hurrying to catch connecting flights, the boarding calls made over the loudspeakers – all faded into a muted blur of gray. The only thing in focus was this woman in front of me, looking at me with such compassion.
“He sees your tears. He sees all the loneliness, all the difficult times.” Isabella’s hand remained on my shoulder, her eyes fixed on mine. “The Father wants to wipe away all your tears. He will be your Husband. He will walk with you, hand-in-hand. When you feel alone at night, He will hold you. You are His beautiful bride. He loves you so much. You are precious and beautiful in His eyes.”
I thanked Isabella and hugged her goodbye, my spirit refreshed. It was a brief encounter – only a few minutes. But the Lord knew I needed to be reminded of His care for me. I needed to know that my pain was not forgotten. In the middle of one of the world’s busiest airports, amid the bustling crowds of travelers, the Father saw MY hurting heart. And He sent a young Asian woman to speak the words of comfort and love that I needed so desperately to hear.
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)