There are lots of changes going on in our area. Commercial expansion has caused a boom in construction of new homes and that is requiring infrastructure growth. Unfortunately, the changes to our roads are coming after the other projects have begun. So, we have the perfect storm – more people trying to travel on torn up roads, competing with construction equipment and vehicles for the traffic lanes that are available. This situation is giving me lots of time to sit in my vehicle, watching dirt being from here to there and back again.
To construct more road lanes, trees and bushes are being removed. Some of these trees are old, with massive trunks and high reaching limbs. Before the trees are removed, someone goes along the roadway, putting plastic, yellow ribbons around some of the trunks. I haven’t paid enough attention to the markings to determine if that means those trees are the ones that will be retained or if those are the ones that will be destroyed.
Then, about a week ago, I noticed plastic pink ribbons have been put on some of the tree trunks. I have no idea what that means. Maybe the crew ran out of yellow tape. Or, perhaps there is a new category. Strange.
I understand being labeled and not sure what that label means. It doesn’t just happen to trees.
Many years ago, I had my first cross-country first class experience. Trading in frequent flyer points, I had upgraded my coach ticket to first class and I was pumped. The aircraft was a wide body and first class had two aisles; I was in the last row, in the middle section. My seatmate and I settled in for the long flight; he seemed especially happy with sitting in first class. Not long after we got our seatbelts on and had been served our first, free, before takeoff, diet Coke, he whispered to me “this is my first time flying first class.” I laughed and shared my secret. His upgrade to first class was also free, the gift of an airline employee friend.
Neither of us knew what would happen next and so we watched carefully everything that the flight attendants did. After takeoff, they came by with “warm towels.” Now, that doesn’t sound like an exciting event except when you are traveling first class for the first time – it is wonderful! We watched the flight attendants coming down the aisle, offering each person their own warm towel. They served the people in front of us and then the people on the sections to the right and left of us. And, then the flight attendants left. With dirty and cool hands, my neighbor and I looked at each other, silently questioning what was going on. A little while later, our warm towels were delivered and we settled back.
Then it was time for the meal. This flight offered several entre choices. The flight attendants came down the aisle and talked to those in front and to the side of us, marking down their menu selections. But, they did not ask us. My neighbor turned to me and asked “Do we get a meal even if we are on free upgrades?” I was sure that we did, but I commented that perhaps we got whatever was left after the paying customers had made their choices. I figured that “first class leftovers” might not be so bad.
Again, after a few minutes, the flight attendant came back to us and asked for our choices. It seemed that the leftover meals fit our choices. We decided that we had probably just lucked out; by this time, we were pretty sure that everyone in first class knew that we were there only because of free upgrades.
After the meal, warm, chocolate chip cookies were delivered. And, you are right, we were left out. After a bit, a flight attendant came and apologized to us. They had a new crew member who was having some challenges getting the “rhythm” down. She brought a whole tray of warm cookies and offered us as many as we wanted. The rest of the trip was a breeze.
Have you ever felt like the tree with a pink ribbon when all the others have yellow ones? Or, how about thinking that you haven’t earned the right to get warm, first class, chocolate chip cookies?
During this next week of Thanksgiving, let’s look for the folks who don’t feel like they belong. Make being part of the group easy for them – they will love you for it.
Jill (just one of God’s kids)
Therefore, welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (Romans 15:7)