I’m writing this, flying high above the clouds, the night before I post it. The sun is tucking in its last rays of the day, out the window to my right, as we travel southeast to real, true spring, and beautiful babies in three different varieties: infant beautiful, preschool beautiful and school-aged beautiful.

I’m wondering, sitting here sandwiched between the gal reading One Thousand Gifts and the other watching Jennifer Aniston on her iPad, just how many times I’ve made this trip. How many times have I occupied 16 (18, 23…) E, and asked for water from the flight attendant’s cart? And how many people have I watched, anonymous, yet completely out in the open?

As is always the case, we all sit singularly, with our elbows touching human beings we don’t know at all; our only known commonalities, a heartbeat and a destination. But for every soul on the manifest, there is a story of trial and triumph, love and loss, joy and heartbreak…life, in all its glorious mess. We are a microcosm of humanity’s worst and best, hurtling at high speed through what is now the dark of night.

And I glance around at all these faces, and the backs of even more heads, and I’m moved by what we represent.

God’ greatest creation in countless, endless, varieties of beautiful.

“Let brotherly love continue.” Hebrews 13:1 ESV