I sat down on my flight home next to a man on a cell phone, whom I initially assumed would be a quiet businessman. But when he hung up, he asked me what I was doing in Texas. And you know that feeling you get in the two seconds after you mention that you're a part of the military, the hold-your-breath feeling where you wait for the person's reaction? It was going to be a long flight, and I didn't want to deal with anything unpleasant. But this situation couldn't have been better.
I was sitting next to George Pearsons, the pastor at Eagle Mountain International Church. He was extremely interested in learning what military families go through. He asked me many questions about what military spouses experience and what we think about various political issues and current events. We talked nonstop for two and a half hours. He told me about a program they have at their church that supports families of military servicemembers called Troops 91, named after Psalm 91. I told him about SpouseBUZZ and encouraged him to let his parishoners know about our website if they're looking for a place to connect while their loved one is deployed.
Right before we landed, he said he wanted to do something special for my family. He gave me a donation on behalf of his church, saying that we should use this money to go to dinner or do something to cherish our precious time together. He said he wanted to give me this money "to bless my family." I couldn't believe how much money he wanted me to take! He wouldn't let me refuse, and we parted ways a little better for having met each other.
As I drove home from the airport, I thought about this money and I realized something: my family is already blessed enough. My husband said the exact same thing when I showed him the money and told him the story. So I hope Pastor Pearsons doesn't mind if I use his church's money to bless some people who probably need it more than we do.
I'm going to donate this money from Eagle Mountain International Church to two organizations that have a connection to SpouseBUZZ. I'll send half to Sew Much Comfort, GBear's organization that makes adaptive clothing for wounded troops. And I'll send the other half to Project Valour-IT, an organization inspired by Joan D'Arc's husband that provides voice-activated laptops to troops whose wounds prevent them from communicating via computer with their loved ones.
Pastor Pearsons blessed me with his money, but what he really blessed me with was his kindness. He was a wonderful listener, a concerned American, and a man who is genuinely interested in understanding how we spouses cope with life in the military. I was blessed to have been in Seat 19E yesterday.