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A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

Airport Chapel

September 9th, 2008

Last week I had a three hour layover at the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport. After a lunch, perusing the bookstores and a couple rides around on the tram, there was nothing to do but walk around. In Terminal E I noticed a small room designated as an airport chapel. A place for travelers to stop and think and pray.

Just inside the door was a guest book inviting those who entered to sign and leave a note if they wished. Flipping through the pages I remembered why DFW is one of the world’s busiest airports. There were signatures from all over the globe.

Abu Dhabi. France. South Africa. Japan. Guatemala. China. And exotic places like Indiana, Iowa and South Dakota. Beside the name and address line was a space for people to leave a message. The notes inked on the page reminded me that wherever we live on the planet, life happens. Sometimes good and sometimes painful, but life happens everywhere.

Someone in Arkansas asked prayer for their Dad’s health. A passenger from Texas wanted prayer for success in their new job. A man from Cleveland, Ohio asked people to pray for wisdom and guidance. A Mom in Michigan asked people to pray for her son’s safety as a police officer. A woman from Wisconsin wrote joyfully with an exclamation point that she was off to a mission trip in China. “Christ Is King!”, she said.

A wife in Michigan wrote, “Please pray for my husband and father-in-law as they both deploy to Iraq on September 2nd. Oh, and for fertility issues.”

Sometimes life doesn’t just happen. Sometimes it piles on.

A mom from Texas used a black ball point pen to write, “My son drowned in a river in New Hampshire. I’ve just come back from seeing the river.” Peeking out from underneath the 3-ring binder was a copy of the eulogy handed out at her son’s funeral. His picture on the front and his life summed up on a single page. A twenty-something kid who made his living designing and making costumes for Shakespearean theaters around the country. 

Airlines take us places and airlines bring us home again. I wish it were as easy to lose our grief as it is for them to lose our luggage.

The last person to sign was a man from Israel. He said simply, “Thanks for providing a place of prayer.” I flipped back through the pages one more time, glancing at the names and addresses and requests. Men and women, a sampling of humanity across the globe, intersecting here in this international airport. Each stopping in this chapel long enough to pray and jot a brief request in hopes that someone might talk to God for them about the life that’s happening in their corner of the world.

I said a prayer for each and added my name to the list. Turning to leave, I thought about the people who might find their way to this room after my plane was gone. Is there a message I’d like to leave them?

Life’s a real head banger no matter where we live. What keeps any of us going? Only the thought that there has to be a purpose behind the pain. That somehow God, in spite of what we see, knows what He’s doing. On my worst days, that can be a stretch to believe. On my better days, my faith sees dimly. Thankfully, God’s faithfulness isn’t dependent on how my day is going.

I wrote to encourage myself as much as anyone else.

“Hold tight to your faith…God can be trusted.”

“Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He (God) who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

 

Todd Thompson    www.ASliceOfLifeToGo.com