I was sitting at a coffee shop with my favorite caramel frappe. It was one of those times when you just want to sit back and enjoy the beauty of the life you’ve been given.
Of course, I come to coffee shops to write. The afternoon slips away: peacefully, because there are no interruptions and thoughts come out more smoothly when I don’t have a to-do list sitting beside me.
I did my writing, but I also spent plenty of time people-watching because it’s fascinating business.
What stories do these people have? What are they up to?
The coffee shop was busy until the evening. By then there were only a few of us still there. I put away my writing and continued reading my way through Isaiah. A middle-aged couple sat at a table in the corner, probably twenty feet from me. They’d caught my eye upon walking in because this lady had the most tired eyes. Maybe it had just been a long day and coffee with her husband tonight would be a nice break? Continued observation seemed to disprove this idea. They talked in hushed voices and solemn faces, or just sat staring off into the distance. They looked weary and distinctly sad.
I sat in my chair watching the sorrowful people and reading Isaiah, chapters on the sin of God’s people and their impending judgment, and it all overcame, the feeling of a great burden.
Then this came next:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
All in the moment of reading those words, I felt a sudden, surprising peace. Even on beautiful days there will be reminders of sin and sadness and pain, a life mankind chose for themselves that day our first parents believed the lie of Satan and disobeyed God. It’s a life we chose for ourselves over and over while rejecting God in our fallen state. But even then God made a way of Salvation, offering Life while we were caught up striving after death. There is a Savior promised in the midst of pain. There is glorious, life-giving hope for us residing on earth, and the Prince of Peace will reign forever.