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  • Writer's pictureAdrea Tilford

For the world changers and cycle breakers you can choose to be an upstander again and again.

Pay attention.

God whispered to my soul. And so I watched the man as they asked him to pull out files. The gate attendants' faces remained somber fortified barriers against humanity. As the man pulled out more documentation, his soft voice complying with each new request, group two was called to board.

I peeked at my ticket. Okay, I have until group seven, I thought. I don’t have to leave yet. And suddenly within my gut I knew that I could not board that plane until the man with the service dog, the man who tried to board in the group identifying as needing more time, the man who was being held up group upon group to prove something that had already been proven to get him to the gate, was allowed to board.

I clipped my spot in the book with my fingers. I will pay attention now. As the decision solidified in my mind, I started to process possibilities for how this could all play out. Was I truly willing to give up my trip for a stranger? Was I willing to risk not being able to fly again for a man I didn’t know? And suddenly I felt so disappointed in myself.

I get the privilege to ask these questions....


You can read the rest of this essay in my free July Newsletter. (delivered straight to your inbox the first week of July!)


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You'll learn how Tyler Merritt's book, I Take My Coffee Black, and this airport situation in which I truly wasn't sure how to proceed convicted my heart to commit once again to be an upstander, not a bystander when I see racial or social injustice take place.


Not easy, but holy work.






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