Insight for the Day

Tell Bobbie Hello for Me

May 2, 2024 Robert Wolgemuth—Editor

She grabbed him by his garment and said, “Sleep with me!” But leaving his garment in her hand, he escaped and ran outside. (Genesis 39:12)

The seat belt light went off. We were thirty minutes into our trip, and the flight attendant gave her predictable announcement about our being “free to move about the cabin.” It was only then that I noticed the attractive woman sitting in the seat next to me.

She looked to be about my age. Her tailored navy suit and crisply starched blouse spoke of her success in business. I turned and said hello. She looked up from the book she was reading and smiled, returning my greeting.

Over the next hour we talked. She was single—a stockbroker who lived in northern Virginia. She was headed home after several days of meetings in Chicago. I asked her where she had grown up. She told me about her parents and siblings. She was willing to talk about her schooling, her career, and even her fears and dreams. Our talk was effortless—moving seamlessly from laughter to expressions of deep feelings, then back to laughter again.

Ten minutes into the conversation, I felt my pulse slowly begin to quicken. I felt myself, mysteriously but unmistakably, being attracted to my airplane companion. Her beauty was matched by her tenderness and willingness to disclose some of her deepest feelings. Even though I considered myself to be a happily married man, I was charmed by this intelligent and extremely articulate woman.

Until the captain informed us that we were “beginning our descent into the Washington area,” we only talked about her. In fact, she had just suggested that since my hotel was close to the airport and her car was in long-term parking, she’d be happy to give me a ride.

For a few minutes we sat in silence. I’m not sure what she was thinking, but I know that my mind was in a swirl. Then turning to me she asked the inevitable: “Tell me about you, Robert.”

My mind raced through the options. I was alone in a city where anonymity is a sacrament. Like Joseph in Egypt, I was an adult with the freedom to make any choice I wanted to make. I would probably never be found out. At the same time, eight hundred miles behind me was a family who loved me. I glanced at my watch. It was bedtime. I could see Bobbie tenderly tucking our two precious girls in with a prayer for their daddy on an airplane, a kiss, and an “I love you.” I could see her crawling into our bed, exhausted from a busy day. I knew she was thinking about me.

“I’m in the publishing business,” I finally said. “It’s a wonderful career, and I love what I’m doing.” I paused for just a moment. “And I have a precious wife named Bobbie and two little girls who really love their daddy.” I reached for my phone and showed my traveling companion pictures of the girls.

Until the plane’s wheels screeched our welcome to Reagan National Airport, I talked about my home—how I met Bobbie, how much we love each other, and what I enjoy doing with our daughters. I talked nonstop. My friend was genuinely interested in every detail.

As we stood to leave the plane, I thanked her for the offer to take me to my hotel. I told her that I would be happy to take the shuttle. She understood. “Thanks for telling me about your life,” she said. “I wish more men loved their families like you do.” Then she added, “Tell Bobbie hello for me.”

“Thank you, Father in heaven,” I remember praying that night as I slipped into bed. “Thank you for a family who loves me so much that they gave their lives to save mine tonight.”