An Empty Chair

The story is told of an old Scotsman who was quite ill. The family called for their minister. As the pastor entered the man’s room and sat down, he noticed another chair on the opposite side of the bed. The pastor said, “Well, I see I’m not your first visitor of the day.”

The old man looked up, puzzled for a moment, then realized that the pastor had noticed the empty chair drawn close to his bedside. “Well, pastor,” he said, “let me tell you about that chair. Many years ago I found it difficult to pray, so one day I shared this problem with my pastor. He told me not to worry about kneeling or about pacing myself in some pious posture. Instead, he said, ‘Just sit down, put a chair opposite you, imagine Jesus sitting in it, and then talk with Him as you would a friend.'”. The old Scot added, “I’ve been doing that ever since.”

A short time later, the daughter of the old man called the minister to tell him her father had died very suddenly. She said, “I had just gone to lie down for an hour or two. He seemed to be sleeping so comfortably. When I went back he was gone. What was odd was that his hand was on the empty chair at the side of the bed. Isn’t that strange?” The minister replied, “No, that’s not so strange. I think I understand.”

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. ~ Psalm 145:18