When it’s silent overhead

The title of this blog might lead you to believe I have some deep revelation to share with you today. If we think of God in Heaven up above, maybe I’m about to dive into a subject like, “When we don’t hear God speaking,” or “Where is God when we need Him most,” or “Is Heaven real?”….


I’m talking about when it’s literally quiet in the airspace above my house. You see, it’s rarely, and I mean RARELY, quiet in my neighborhood because we’re right in line with the arriving and departing flights of Nashville International Airport. In the morning, just about every 2 or 3 minutes there’s a plane coming in. In the afternoon, planes are flying out on the same path as those arriving in the morning.

Not on purpose at all, but I’ve become aware of different types of planes coming or going, whether they’re small, medium, large, or even helicopters, jets, or these things:

So when there is virtually no noise coming from above, I know something’s up. It’s only happened a handful of times that I can remember, when I’ve been at home, at least. The first was when President Obama flew over years ago. He was visiting Nashville, I can’t remember why. I had come home for a lunch break to let my dogs into the yard. I looked up and there was the majestic Air Force Once, a behemoth of a plane gliding past to touch down at the airport minutes later.

It happened again recently when President Trump came to Nashville to tour the tornado damage from earlier in that week.

On this particular morning, there were other signs that something was going on. First, the silence… no other planes landing. Then there was a police helicopter circling the area over and over, leading up to AF1 approaching. When I saw this helicopter, I felt sure I’d have a good view of the President’s plane in a short amount of time. I had even heard on the radio that the plane may be approaching the airport from a different side of town, but because of the silence and the lone helicopter, and hearing aircraft faintly from waaaaay above me (some kind of support/security/protection detail, perhaps even a drone of some sort), I still felt sure of the probability I’d get to see AF1.

I’ll be honest by saying I don’t love the noise all these planes make, though. Southwest Airlines has the loudest ones. But there are so many times I look up into the sky and stand amazed at what I see. Other times, I stand amazed at what I don’t see, but I’m sure is there… the God of the Universe! OK, OK, that was as deep as I’ll get!

-Out of the Wilderness

I’m just standing here watching airplanes…

When I played Little League, I’d say a conservative estimate of all the airplanes I looked at when they flew over the fields was all of them. I remember coaches telling me to pay attention. I was paying attention. To the airplanes. I can’t say what it was that captured my attention so wholly, but they did.

And they still do.

I’ll be standing on the mound about to toss an underhand lob to an eagerly waiting batter in adult league co-ed softball and I hear one. I look up to see the lights flickering overhead.

Or like today when I was mowing my front yard for the first time this year. Standing still, mower running, glaring into the blue sky as a plane that just took off screams overhead.

I don’t know why I do the things I do. Maybe I was a pilot in a previous life. Or an airplane. But one thing is for sure… I WAS PAYING ATTENTION, COACH! Whew, sorry. I’ve had that bottled up for 20 years, I guess.

-Out of the Wilderness