The Empty Chair

Christmas is supposed to be a time of great joy and happiness. This year is different for many. You probably know some for whom it is different but do not realize it, or maybe it just slips past you in all the hustle and bustle of the year. It is quite possible that you are one of those for whom Christmas is different.

There is a special chair in someone’s home that is empty this year. It may be the straight back chair at the dinner table, the office chair at the desk in the study, the lazy boy in the den, or some other special spot. It was a favorite for him or her.

You may have seen it on a daily basis. It may be in a place on the other side of the country. It may be a memory from years ago.

Last Christmas there was someone sitting in that special chair. This year it sits empty.

It is that empty chair that consumes your mind. Everyone else is buying presents and talking about celebrating the season with family and friends.

All of that joy and celebration only intensifies the absence of the one who should be in that empty chair. You may feel guilty and hypocritical because you do not feel very merry at all.

King Solomon said that for everything there is a time; “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;” (Ecclesiastes 3:4 ESV)

If you have an empty chair this Christmas, it is okay to take some time in the midst of the celebration to also weep and mourn. If you do not have an empty chair this Christmas, pause for a moment and think of someone who does. Your most meaningful gift this year could be to let someone know that you also notice the empty chair.

Signature-Donald E. Cole

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