The empty chair

The Empty Chair


A SICK MAN'S daughter had asked the local
pastor to come and pray with her father.
When the pastor arrived, he found the man
lying in bed with his head propped up on two
pillows and an empty chair beside his bed.
The priest assumed that the old fellow had
been informed of his visit. "I guess you were
expecting me," he said. 
"No, who are you?"
"I'm the new associate at your local church,"
the pastor replied. "When I saw the empty
chair, I figured you knew I was going to show
up."


"Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden
man. "Would you mind closing the door?"
Puzzled, the pastor shut the door.
"I've never told anyone this, not even my
daughter," said the man. "But all of my life I
have never known how to pray. At church I
used to hear the pastor talk about prayer,
but it always went right over my head.."
"I abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old
man continued, "until one day about four
years ago my best friend said to me, 'Joe,
prayer is just a simple matter of having a
conversation with God. Here's what I
suggest. Sit down on a chair, place an empty
chair in front of you, and in faith see God on
the chair.


 It's not spooky because he
promised, 'I'll be with you always.' Then just
speak to him and listen in the same way
you're doing with me right now."
"So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I
do it a couple of hours every day. I'm careful,
though. If my daughter saw me talking to an
empty chair, she'd either have a nervous
breakdown or send me off to the funny
farm."
The pastor was deeply moved by the story
and encouraged the old guy to continue on
the journey. Then he prayed with him, and
returned to the church.
Two nights later the daughter called to tell
the pastor that her father had died that
afternoon.
"Did he seem to die in peace?" he asked.
"Yes, when I left the house around two
o'clock, he called me over to his bedside,
told me one of his corny jokes, and kissed
me on the cheek. When I got back from the
store an hour later, I found him dead. But
there was something strange, In fact, beyond
strange—kinda weird. Apparently, just before
Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his
head on a chair beside the bed." 
                        -Author Unknown 

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