This is a rather horrifying, though fascinating piece. I’m not very good about numbers and all that sort of thing. So even with the chart I am taking their word for it that the Boeing 737 is a bad airplane to climb onto. I’m glad so many companies are taking the problem seriously enough to ground flights while they figure out what’s going wrong.
The flight was headed into Nairobi, and my mother sent me this Facebook post of a well known Kenyan right before he boarded the flight. It’s a cheerful selfie with the verse, “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:9-10
If you want to stop reading and just go on crying through your day, sorrow mingled with some strange prayer of thankfulness for the strength and witness of Christians scattered all over the world, that’s totally fine. That’s what I’m planning to do. The strange blessing of a stranger’s social media post—and me so complaining about poor Mark Zuckerberg—already drug me through yesterday as I faced down a lot of children trying to get through some difficult exams, and me behind on the laundry, again.
It’s an especially nice counterpoint to this piece about how tens of millions of Chinese citizens have already lost the ability to ride in airplanes and trains because of the social credit system that is in full operation in many cities. Their amount of credit fell below a certain acceptable line, and so they have to find other ways to get around, I guess. Which might be a mercy if the only option was a 737, but must be very stressful, frustrating at the least. And probably, for some, financially and emotionally devastating.
How can any of us do it? Well, like salvation itself, it can’t be done by a mere paltry human effort. It is impossible. The darkness is too big and we are too small and flapping, too great contributors to the trouble ourselves. If we have to live on social credit—at least what is required by God and not even the Chinese government—we won’t ever be able to go anywhere.
But God can. Imagine getting on a plane and knowing, to the depths of who you are, that everything is fine and that Jesus is with you—really—no matter what. I mean, I know that. And if you know me, you know how weird that verity is, because I am fundamentally a mess. Will I know it when faced with truly dark troubles? I expect so, because God is so faithful and kind. He steps in when I find myself crumbling internally and raises me up and helps me to keep going. I find an alien strength, an alien joy, an alien peace takes hold at the critical time.
So we need not worry about the days and the hours to come—though of course we will—because they are not random, they are not organized by a malign and controlling bureaucracy, by Mark Zuckerberg, or any human person. God owns the whole of creation, and yet he cares for you, wherever you happen to be trying to go today. Whether to the shops, or to work, or on an airplane, or to drag your children across town in the March snow, even there his hand will guide you, his right hand will hold you.