As Scott guides his twin-engine Cessna in towards Boston's Logan Airport, his passenger — six-year-old Erika Carlson — squeals with excitement. "We're about to land," she announces to her mom sitting next to her.
Erika was born with a life-threatening disease. For years she has had to travel to Boston from her family's home in Maine several times each year. But the twelve-hour drive became too draining for Erika and her parents.
That's when Scott stepped in. A non-commercial pilot, he volunteered to fly Erika to Boston.1 And every trip he's made has come at a great sacrifice to him — about $1,200 round trip. But because he knows that Erika desperately needed the treatment, he was willing to make that sacrifice. Again and again.
As I reflected on this story, I was struck by the parallel to our spiritual condition. All of us have souls that are sick with sin. We are helpless. We're in need of a spiritual physician. And Jesus has stepped in to lead us safely to the Father.
Paul states in Ephesians 5:25 that "Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a ... sacrifice to God." There's nothing we can do to earn this rescue — or to deserve it. Like little Erika, all we can do is receive it.
1For more information, you may want to contact Angel Flight America, a nationwide group of volunteer pilots like Scott Coleman who provide assistance to medical patients.