Last night, as I lay dreaming, God took my hand, and we walked. We walked to His table. His table of peace, His table of blessings, His table of love, mercy and kindness.
I saw the chairs, so very many of them, each holding a child of God, partaking of their inheritance; these children of His were steeped in beauty and wonder and I wanted nothing more in that moment than to find my chair and enjoy the rest everyone else was savoring. I was in awe. Nothing in the world had prepared me for a time such as this, nothing ever could.
As we walked, hand in hand, side by side, not as two, but as one..I saw what He saw, I felt what He felt. In that moment I was Him, and He was me, and it was perfect.
As we wove our way down the meandering path of perfection, smiling, laughing and loving each person we passed, I began to notice the empty chairs, not many, but still enough that the absence of presence seemed out of place-but more than that, these chairs were lonely, they hurt with a longing I couldn’t comprehend, I didn’t want to, but somehow in my deepest being, walking next to my Savior, I knew what He knew, I still felt what He felt, and it wasn’t the chairs carrying the deep ache and mournful longing, it was Jesus. In spite of all the beauty surrounding this immeasurable table of joy, I felt the sadness. I felt His sadness.
Then I saw it, a familiar chair. Although I knew I had never seen it before, it beckoned to me, like an old friend. Reluctantly, I released His hand and walked over to the object silently calling out to me. I put my hand on the carved wooden back, but there were no answers to be found in the chair. He knew and waited in silence for me to ask.
“God” I said, “why do I feel as if I know this spot? How can a simple object feel so familiar?”
He looked at me with a great sadness, a look of such deep mourning that I wanted to take my question back, grab His hand, and continue on in blissful ignorance. But it was too late, He replied “this chair belonged to Danny”.
“I don’t understand” I replied in barely a whisper, “I knew Danny, she was the kindest person I ever met. There were so many people gathered around her final resting spot, so many lives she had touched just waiting to say goodbye. Why God, why is her chair empty?”
And in that very moment I knew, as I looked at Jesus and heard His reply, these words will be forever etched on my heart, “I knew Danny too He said, but she didn’t know me.”
And then I woke up, in my own bed, looking at my own walls, crying silent tears for what could never be, and hoping beyond hope that it was just a dream, a reminder, a wake- up call to where my focus truly needs to be.
We spend so much time mourning the empty chairs here in this world, missing those who are away from us for just a breath until we see them again. But, do we ever stop to think of the eternally empty chairs?
It’s time to fill them up!