My last night in Lourdes, I sat with the owner of the hotel I was staying at for a good hour or so, discussing life in Lourdes. I marveled at his job. He gets to invite pilgrims to rest and see the many people coming and asking our Lord for miracles.
We talked about how all the worldly things we think are important today will pass, and the only thing worth fighting for is our faith. I shared with him the story of my book filled with prayers from people who have requested them as well as people I have met along the way.
He then shared something unique with me. Confirmed miracle number 68 at Lourdes stayed in this same hotel, and she had brought a book with prayers as well. Grace be to God that power transmits to the prayers of those in need.
After a great evening of philosophical conversations, I wondered what Christ had planned next?
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:26-27
(If my mother is reading this, please forgive me, you are forced to suffer free-spirited daughters)
I am heading in the direction of Medjugorje. I found some flights to Split, where I will need to stay for two days to get my COVID test to enter Bosnia-Herzegovina. When I booked the flight from Lourdes -> Paris -> Zagreb-> Split, I did not notice that my flight arrived in Paris Orly, and the next flight departed from Paris Charles de Gaulle. En plus (exaggerated French words for effect), my plane landed at 8:30 am, and the next flight departed at 9:55 am. Ooh la la.
Upon discovering this little fact, I looked up and said to Jesus, “game on!”
As we were descending into Paris, I could see that all the roads/freeways were packed. Looking up again, I winked at Him and said, “A monkey wrench, huh, you must have something big planned.”
I scrambled out of the plane, down the steps onto the bus taking me to the terminal, through two identity controls, down a long hallway, and bursting out of the airport, I hoped to find a rogue taxi driver willing to break the sound barrier for me. Then, like an invitation to endless wonder, I saw the Moto-taxi stand. It was clear to me at that moment I had to either jump on the back of a motorcycle and race across Paris or miss my flight - miss my COVID test appointment- miss going to Medjugorje.
I got on the bike.
How does one describe the perfect storm of absolute spine snapping fear in perfect unison with unadulterated wild child joy?
The driver wrapped me up in two jackets, gloves, sanitizing hair net, and a helmet that rivals ones worn by astronauts. Once I got on the bike, he wrapped me up in a blanket of sorts, and I was tucked in, ready to go. I laughed myself silly through the whole process. Grace be to God; I am only traveling with a backpack.
Giving the thumbs up to all the other drivers who were now laughing equally as hard as I was, and most likely feeling sorry for my driver, we pushed off.
As we got on the freeway, my driver played 1970s disco on a very impressive sound system. I laughed out loud when the lyrics, “Last dance, last chance for love...” rang out. About 10 minutes later, the music changed tempo, and Sweet Home Alabama echoed across the A-16.
My smile could have broken my face. I was so happy. I sang at the top of my lungs, ‘Sweet home Alabama where the skies are so blue, Sweet home Alabama, Lord I’m coming home to you.’
The next song was ‘Roxanne.’ There was no way I could be in this moment and not boisterously belt out these lyrics. I felt like Jesus was riding next to me, laughing and singing with me. Cars and trucks were moving about, my driver held my life in his hands, but I was on the back of a motorcycle zooming across Paris with my Lord enjoying his special gift to me.
When I got off the bike, it took me a few seconds for my spine to un-paralyze itself.
I made the flight.