At the end of the play “Les Mis” is one of the most poignant songs of the musical. It is titled, “Empty Chairs and Empty Table.” It is after the failure of the rebels at the Barricades. The singer alone has survived, all his friends and companions have died . He laments that the chair of his friends are now empty, having perished in the battle. Their hopes were high, their dreams were alive. But it all came to failure. Hope is lost, dreams have died. Their bodies lie abandoned on the walls of rebellion.
Every person experiences these times of lostness. Friends have fallen by the wayside. Some have just passed through, barely touching our lives.
In many twelve step groups, an empty chair is often left in the circle of support. It stands for the one who should be there. The one lost, or fallen by the wayside, or has yet to admit their need. It is a reminder that life is full of temptations, lies and deceptions which will draw us away from the better life.
Even in the Upper Room where Jesus celebrated his last supper with friends, an empty chair is left. One has deserted following the Lord. His disappointment in Jesus has motivated him to go over to the other side. He betray’s Jesus for a small purse of coins.
Jesus forgives Judas. Yet Judas cannot handle this supreme act of acceptance, grace and mercy.
There are empty chairs all around us. Too many busy with things to be done. Some of these things are good and praiseworthy, but are they what God desires? Many simply draw away from the attractions to other activities, too many places to go, to much to do around the house,
What challenges you to fill the empty chair in the circle of God’s friends.