"And here on this mountain, God will banish the pall of doom hanging over all peoples, The shadow of doom darkening all nations. Yes, he'll banish death forever." Isaiah 25:7 (MSG)
Flying through Denver International airport last night, I sat and had dinner at the bar of a restaurant on the B Concourse where I could watch the Cubs get pounded by the Mets (being a Cubs fan requires a lot of faith). It was there that I met Joe, who was quite drunk and sitting to my immediate left. I instantly liked Joe. He seemed like a nice enough guy, even in his inebriated state. He was friendly and charismatic. Joe had been at the bar a long time. He'd missed two flights already according to the lengthy description of his day.
Joe talked a lot, and I got to know him quite well as I ate my caesar salad. He made his first million in Iowa. Joe had everything, it would seem. He was healthy and looked much younger than his early fifties (He thought we were the same age, and told me I looked much older than my age. Sometimes drunk people just can't filter things the way they should.). Joe was good looking. He clearly had a ton of money and all that it could buy. There were, however, two things Joe clearly did not have. He did not have a friend (I was it), and he did not have peace. Joe was alone. Joe had "the pall of doom hanging over all peoples." His spirit was tortured. I could see it in his eyes. It was in his posture. I heard it in his slurred words.
I listened to Joe's story. I learned of his many broken relationships. He told me about his inability to perform sexually with his young girlfriend. His life was a total mess. All the money and success were worthless to provide that which he truly needed. He was an empty shell of a man medicating himself from the pain of his soul. I tried to be a good friend and love Joe well in the few minutes that our lives touched.
Today, I'm praying for my friend Joe. I'm grateful for God's amazing grace in my own life, which I do not deserve. I'm thankful that Jesus came to banish death and it's morbid pall. I'm praying that I will be an instrument of God's peace, that where there is despair I can sow hope, and where there is darkness I can shed light.
Even at the bar on Concourse B.