The Empty Setting


We sat at the table for several minutes, waiting for someone to sit with us. Folks walked by, looking for people they knew. And there we sat. And sat. Finally, we started eating, ignoring the empty setting across from us that begged to be filled.

There is nothing worse than being a stranger in a new place. You realize that you don’t know anyone. You realize that you have to be outgoing and be the first to speak. But what about when you aren’t new and this happens? How do you feel when you have been friends with folks for years, yet always find that you are on the outside of the crowd? I am not talking about popularity and thinking…I just mean plain old fellowship. Eating, joking around, talking.

I imagine this is how Jesus feels when we continually pass by the table He has set for us and don’t stop to chat. In our home, we used to keep an extra place setting where we imagined Jesus sitting with us. When we would pray, we would sit at the table, and say our prayer aloud. It only stopped because we moved our prayer location and a plate would just look odd. But the point is still there  - the point of this place setting sitting empty and us not stopping by. I think of that when I am “too busy” to start my morning with the Lord, or too involved in my work to stop for a moment and get up to thank Him for having a wonderful career that I love and enjoy. I think of it when we tuck ourselves in at the end of a long day and fall to sleep without saying our prayers. And I don’t mean in a legalistic, “You are going to hell if you don’t pray three times daily” kind of way. I just mean it in an “it grieves my heart to think of the Lord sitting there waiting for me and I never show up and sit down” kind of way.

Next time you are having a busy day, feeling like it is too much to stop for a few minutes and talk with the Lord, picture Him sitting at your table, meal ready to eat, waiting for you to just take a seat. 

Until next time,