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Traveling Mercies

How a kind hotel employee came to the rescue for a traveler far from home


My perpetual fear when traveling is that I’ll leave something somewhere, something important, something that will be hard to replace. And on a recent trip to Norway I did.

We were in Kirkenes at the end of our trip by ferry up the coast, past endless fjords, at really the end of everything, close to the most northern point in Europe.

We were now flying back to Oslo. We were at the airport when I realized–darn!–I’d left something really important back at the hotel. (Let me be exasperating by not exactly saying what it was.)

We called the hotel. We talked to the front desk. Could they check our room?

They did. They found the item (what a relief). But now a second request: Could they send it to Oslo?

“I’ll get in my car right now,” the fellow at the front desk said, “and bring it to you at the airport.”

Time was ticking. Our flight was leaving at 11:30. It would be boarding soon. We were already through security, and I didn’t want to go back out. No time for that.

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We waited. We paced. I would like to say I prayed, but I was too anxious for that. And too irritated with myself.

Finally the cell phone rang. The fellow was here at the airport. “Could you come to security?” I asked. I envisioned him putting the item through the X-ray machine and me receiving it at the other end.

“Sure,” he said. With just moments to spare–our plane ready to board–he appeared. He put the item in the X-ray machine. I passed along some Norwegian kroner to the woman at security who passed it to him.

“That’s not necessary,” he said, shaking his head.

“You deserve it,” I said. I owed him thanks. More than thanks. I tucked the item under my arm and headed to our plane.

“Traveling mercies” is a name we give to prayers for anyone on a trip. They can be vaguely worded because you never know what difficulties might lie ahead. You want to be reminded that no matter how far you go, God will be there.

God can send just the right helper along the way. Godspeed to that!

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