Reflections and Poetry

Empty Chair: GOD Always Remembers – a reflection

I was sitting in a crowded hall, focused on the stage. There were a few empty seats scattered about the room, but not many I think. There was one next to me.

This week I went to my son’s high school graduation. After 14 years of education, he can put the certificate in its folder (not right away I hope) for safe keeping, and move forward.

It was an efficient and memorable ceremony. I watched as son and friends passed through a pivotal moment, a landmark rite of passage, a time when there is only forward, no looking back. Fond memories yes but life moves on….

As for me there was another very personal, surprising moment. It didn’t involve my son at all, at least not directly. And unless he reads this blog post he’s unlikely ever to know about it.

I was sitting in the crowded hall, focused on the stage. There were a few empty seats scattered about the room, but not many I think. There was one next to me.

As it happened, no one had sat next to me. And then, just as the ceremony was starting, just as the head-of-year teacher began to introduce the next hour, I realised: the seat was an Elijah seat so-to-speak, though not literally and certainly not so profoundly. Tender though. For I realised the seat was for my Alan, my son’s father, who is now in heavenly places amongst the cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1).

GOD showed up in that moment before the graduation commenced. He’s so loving, so thoughtful and so tender — He had kept a seat empty for me — for Alan. That I could put my hand on the seat and think, ‘Yes, this seat is reserved for the man who will not appear, but would have been so very proud of our son’.

I’m not weeping now. Nor did I weep then. I just sensed a profound love from GOD, my Father in Heaven, who reserved a seat for the father that would have been so delighted at the achievement of his son.

And so am I.

Let’s treasure our special moments, the moments that are fleeting and then they are gone. There are photos and memories. But the special sense of fulfilment that GOD provides is the most precious of experiences that comes with such landmark moments.

Every blessing,

Sarah xx

6 replies on “Empty Chair: GOD Always Remembers – a reflection”

A beautifully written, very poignant and evocative piece, Sarah, which DID make me weep, albeit briefly, not for Alan, for he’s A1 now, but because i felt a strong identification, with you being made aware that it was God’s doing, that the seat next to you COULDN’T be filled that night, if He was to express so clearly, and Ultra-Lovingly to you, that Alan WAS there, in spirit, to share that very precious moment with you, witnessing such a special milestone in your son’s life-journey.
I identified because i’ve lost count of the number of similar moments , that God has touched me, in memory of dearly beloved, departed family members and friends, through ordinary, everyday, mini-events that ONLY i could appreciate, but which have touched me so deeply and meaningfully, with respect to someone i’m still missing.
How “High, Deep and Wide” is God’s Love for us?
And, as you so rightly say, He NEVER forgets.
Shalom/God bless (and ‘Thank you’ so much too!)

You write of the reality of GOD in such situations beautifully, describing what many have perhaps experienced but not put words to it. Thank you for sharing:) I’m glad sharing my experience has resonated with you too. GOD is in the huge and in the microscopic. It’s wonderful when we “see Him” in our moments. Blessings, Sarah

P.S. Just 2 more thoughts, if i may :- 1) I’m SO reminded of the song that begins “How deep the Father’s Love for us, How vast, beyond all measure, That He would give His Only Son, To make this wretch His treasure” and 2) The scripture you mentioned says, i believe that we are “SURROUNDED by a great cloud of witnesses” (down here, on earth) so, who knows who else was in the hall invisibly with you?
MAYBE Elijah, since he manifested quite easily at Christ’s Transfiguration, though certainly on this occasion, NOT in the chair next to you.
Definitely that was reserved for Alan ONLY!

You’re very welcome. Thanks for YOUR kind words, which i missed yesterday, much appreciated. Take care & God bless+++

You’re very welcome my sister. Many thanks for your kind and encouraging words, which i missed yesterday, much appreciated. Take care & God bless+++

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