Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The People You Meet on a Plane

Last Wednesday, I flew home from San Diego, CA after a 10 day business trip. Before we ever took off, I noticed that there was a couple behind me that was consumed with grief. Overhearing their phone conversations, I quickly learned that as they were boarding the plane on their way home from a nice, relaxing vacation, they received a phone call telling them their son had been shot in the face and was in critical condition.

Once the plane took off and we were able to move around, I moved into the isle to kneel and talk and pray with this couple. They explained that their son lived in Jackson, TN and that when leaving a job early in the morning, he had been robbed, shot in the face, and left for dead on the sidewalk. A passerby saw him and called 911. When our plane landed, I walked and talked with this sweet couple to the baggage claim. As we waited for a bags, they quickly got out their phones t to make phone calls, only to learn that the surgeons were not going to be able to save their son. For what seemed like an hour, I just embraced this couple. There were no words to say, so I just cried with them and prayed with them.

I was able to email with this sweet family yesterday and learned that on Thursday, their son, Master Sergeant Troy Mitchell, went to his eternal home, leaving behind a wife of 24 years (they would have celebrated their silver anniversary in December), 7 sons ranging in age of 27 to 5, and 3 grandchildren. Troy served in the Marine Corps for 22 years before retiring and creating his own locksmith business.

I tell you this story because today, this family will bury their son, their husband, their father and a dear friend. Please pray for the Mitchell family. I cannot imagine the pain and sorrow that they feel.

If you would like to read more, Troy's obituary can be found here. To read more about the events surrounding this case, you can go to the local Jackson newpaper here and search "Troy Mitchell".