Finding God at O’Hare

In March, my wife and I missed a connection because of congestion at O’Hare airport. We vowed never to fly through O’Hare again if we could avoid it. But after reading the poem “Transportation” by Kristen Lindquist, I might reconsider.

Everyone in O’Hare is happy today.

Sun shines benevolently

onto glorious packaged snack foods

and racks of Bulls T-shirts.

My plane was twenty minutes early.

Even before I descend into the trippy light show

of the walkway between terminals,

I am ecstatic. I can’t stop smiling.

On my flight we saw Niagara Falls

and Middle America green and gold below.

Passengers thanked the pilot for his smooth landing

with such gratitude that I too

thanked him, with sudden and wholehearted sincerity.

Read the rest of the poem here. H/t to Dennis Dillon, SJ.

Image by afagen under a Creative Commons license.
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Jim Manney
Jim Manney is the author of highly praised popular books on Ignatian spirituality, including A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer (about the Daily Examen) and God Finds Us (about the Spiritual Exercises). He is the compiler/editor of An Ignatian Book of Days. His latest book is What Matters Most and Why. He and his wife live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

4 COMMENTS

  1. O’ Hare has always been a refuge for me when traveling, a self-contained city unto itself. I traveled 3-4 times yearly for 20 years with 1 or 2 children so it meant we could get endless exercise after hours in a seat, things to climb, children’s area, chapel, education at the Field Museum store & of course endless food choices. I spent 26 hours there with 2 – 10 year olds during a snow storm pushing them & being pushed around on a baggage cart and appreciating this city. We prayed for good weather and thanked God for the kindness of staff and the opportunity to see God in the other stranded travelers. We finally made it a point to actually vacation in Chicago rather than just visit the airport; it too is a spiritual place.

  2. The last few lines of the poem really make me think:
    “Any kind of love seems possible.
    We walk through this light together.
    So what if it’s an airport?
    So what if it won’t last?”
    For me this speaks of being present in the moment and not fretting about the future. We can find God everywhere if we will only be aware. Thank you for this thoughtful start to the day.

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