Last Tuesday night, I went to the Los Angeles airport to pick up my wife and son David from their week long vacation trip in New Jersey. I knew they will be both hungry by the time they arrive so I decided to go to David’s favorite, the In n Out restaurant, famous for its burgers, near the airport. I got my son a “double-double” and my wife a regular burger. Of course, I bought myself a burger, too (smile). I asked for the sandwiches to go. Then I got a text message from my son telling me that their plane has landed but it will take them some time before they can disembark. Lots of airplanes getting in. I had to wait.
There were no tables with empty chairs available so I saddled on a stool with a raised up table. I was there for almost an hour before I got a call from my wife telling me that they were finally coming out of the plane.
It was what I saw in the restaurant for that whole hour that I wanted to share. Sitting on a stool gave me a good view. Right close to me there was this Hispanic family with three children enjoying their burgers and fries. A little further is a couple with a baby giggling. On my right side, was a black family with their grandma and grandpa smiling. The inside of the restaurant looks so much like the Los Angeles community. There were Asians, Armenians, Koreans and others I don’t really know where from. Everyone looked happy as they were enjoying their meals. A few minutes later, two white police officers came in and stood in line for their meals. The whole jovial atmosphere did not change. It didn’t matter what ethnic group people belong to. It didn’t matter what age, what educational background or what faith. There we were inside this restaurant with a motley group united, laughing and enjoying our meals. People coming in and people going out. It was all peaceful and happy.
For most people this may seem a little moment. But for me, it may be a little moment but it was overwhelming. I was thinking. If only… the whole world will see this. The sight stuck in my brain. I am not able to shake it. It may seem such a small thing but given the condition we are in the world today, it struck me as a really big thing.
Yes! In our diversity, we can live together peaceably. That little moment in the restaurant near the airport last Tuesday night confirmed it. Perhaps if we are intentional in looking for these fingerprints of love, peace and joy in the little moments, we will see that there is hope for the big things. Yes, I think it will serve us well to talk about these little moments as much as we can. Maybe then, maybe under God’s loving guidance and care, we will experience the beginnings of healing in our land.