The Empty Chair

I loved these thoughts by my good friend, David Dendy. He is a great writer, communicator and pastor. The Empty Chair especially touched me this year as I thought about passing of dear friend and colleague in ministry as well as my own parents. Don’t miss this one.

“The Empty Chair” sits vacant at every home this Christmas.
It sits there all alone in my house and it sits all alone in yours.

The difficult part about dealing with “The Empty Chair” is that it used to be filled…
Filled to overflowing perhaps…
Filled with sounds of laughter…
Filled with striking smiles and twinkling eyes…
Filled with lips that curled a certain way right before busting out laughing or even crying…
Eyes that narrowed in keen observation, eyes that softened and moistened upon saying “good-bye”…
Eyes that lit up with a joy uncontainable upon seeing your face…

The Empty Chair used to be filled…
Filled with hands that you used to hold and stroke and hands that used to hold yours…
Hands that had wedding rings and diamond rings and mood rings and turquoise rings…
Hands that had dug in the dirt, changed the oil, baked the birthday cakes and
Hands that you just knew you would hold forever and ever…

The Empty Chair used to be filled…
Filled with a voice so unique you could pick it out as “that” one and only voice in a crowded mall…
The voice that made your heart sing every time that voice uttered your most precious name…
The voice that read you bedtime stories, Bible stories and the “funnies” on Sunday morning…
The voice that would command, direct, whisper and shout.

The Empty Chair used to be filled…
Filled with someone you loved or still love…
They are no longer at the table
Not necessarily because they don’t want to be…
They may just not be able…

The Empty Chair they used to fill is empty because…
They have passed away, never again to see you another day…
They have ventured off to another land, promising to one day return and hold your hand…
They are imprisoned either literally or figuratively which by either case hurts none the less…
They are hurt beyond compare and the only way they know to respond is to hurt you back by filling the empty chair with just “air.”
They might be on vacation and will return next year to fill The Empty Chair.

The Empty Chair used to be filled by…
Our husband, our wife, our granddad, our grandmother, our mother, our father, our son, our daughter, our significant other, our friend, our uncle or aunt, our brother or sister…

It is always this time of the year that The
Empty Chair makes the loudest noise.
It’s Christmas and we celebrate with all the smiles and with all the joys.
And yet, The Empty Chair is not a seasonal chair…
It sits empty all year long right in front of you, right there.
It is with sadness and it is with glee that we celebrate and tolerate The Empty Chair.
The Empty Chair is a blessed curse,
Some days are better and some days are worse.

Our memories of those who once filled The Empty Chair fill our heart
Do not let the memories evaporate would be a good place to start.
Instead, take one step or more
And walk across the dining room or living room floor
And sit, sit tall or sink right in The Empty Chair
And absorb the spirit of the one who is no longer here and no longer there

And praise God above for the love you are able with family and friends to share
Because, one day your spirit will be all that is left to fill The Empty Chair…

David Dendy

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David Dendy

David Dendy

David grew up in Southern California in Orange County at a time when the orange groves graced the landscape. North Carolina came a calling as David attended and graduated from Davidson College (Home of Steph Curry! Go Warriors!!). Pursuing his graduate degree in Virginia, David received his Master of Divinity from Union Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. With over 30 years of being an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), there has been lots of cause to laugh!! Along the way, David has served in Presbyterian Churches in Augusta, Georgia (David played the Augusta National Golf Course twice!); Houston, Texas; and Klamath Falls, Oregon. Mountain View Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas, Nevada is now home to David's ministry and service. When asked, "How can you be a Pastor in Sin City?", David's response is quick, "Job security!" A few curves in the road gave David the privilege and opportunity to explore some other avenues outside the Church. David has worked with over 100 churches in helping them raise over 200 million dollars for the purpose of Christian ministry. In related work, David served as the Vice President for Philanthropy for the University of Dubuque and the Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa where David was in charge of Alumni Relations, the Annual Fund and all fundraising related to various capital projects. David loves to play tennis! Loves, loves, loves the game!! (Go Novak Djokovic!!) Participating in League Tennis, cycling through the Swiss Alps on the stationary bike, running, golf and throwing the Frisbee take up some of David’s passions and energies. Early in 2020 the Broadway stage in New York City found David achieving the most difficult and challenging bucket list of all bucket lists, performing a “Standup Comedy” routine at the world renowned “Carolines on Broadway Comedy Club!” David’s love and study of laughter, humor and levity has led him on the most fascinating journey of discovering the amazing impact and positive effect humor has on institutional and workplace effectiveness and the powerful role laughter has in building deep and lasting relationships. David is married to Julie (an excellent Physical Therapist - www.agingwithpower.org), and together they have two children - Faith and Joshua who are only five months apart in age. Talk about laughing out loud! Try to have two children within five months of each other! David's signature line and mantra in life is "Laugh Often and Fear Not!" His hope and joy would be for you to experience that as well! See more at daviddendy.com.

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