The Empty Seats

I had been busy these past few days helping a sick friend. Since driving to places made it difficult for her, I volunteered to drive her and brought her to her doctor. It was a beautiful morning that day with the temperature being comfortable though the sun was shining so brightly. I dropped her off by the Clinic’s front door and veered to find a spot in the middle of the lot.

rows of empty seats in a doctor's office
As I followed to enter the medical office, I was greeted by a surprising silence. All of the seats were empty except for the one being occupied by my friend as she waited for the nurse to call her. Working at the hospital for many years in the past, I knew that must be a welcoming break for the staff working in that facility. Even their phones were extremely idle.

I took out a piece of paper and pen from my purse I intentionally brought with me since I anticipated the usual long waits in any doctor’s visits. I thought of writing about anything that came to mind to just “kill the time”, so to speak.

Nothing. At each passing minute, my attention was distracted by those empty seats. I did not know why. I had a mixed feeling. That those empty seats meant a lot. It could mean that some patients were healed. Or maybe others were still going through whatever diagnoses were found out and caused them some symptoms. I wanted to be ecstatic. But I knew there was something deceiving with those rows upon rows of empty seats. They would always be there. Waiting if not for the old patients, welcoming the new, anxious ones.

As I tried to scribble, the front door opened wide. In came a family of three with a baby. Followed by a mother and young son. Then, a female teen-ager toting her big purse. One after another, the seats started to be filled. Then I heard the receptionists answered the phone lines. One after another.

“Are you okay?” asked my friend I didn’t even notice already had come out after seeing her doctor.

“Done already? Wow! That was quick!”

As she made another follow-up appointment, I looked around and confirmed that those empty seats were deceiving. Being empty did not mean it was a quiet day for the staff. Being empty did not mean that patients were doing well, in fact, more came in, looking nervous.

The Bible warns for us not to “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” – Ephesians 5:6 (ESV)

Sins abound around us. Not all things that appear harmless will benefit us. A lot of “too good to be true” promises are spoken. Some things may appear innocent but in reality, those things are not pleasing to God. They are all deceiving. They are all empty.

However, there is an empty seat reserved by God for each of us. The seat of surrender. He wants us to make that appointment to see Him and for us to empty ourselves. That is the only way for our sickness to be healed. For our uncleanness to be clean. For our unrighteousness to become righteous. For our hopelessness to become hopeful. For our weaknesses to become strength. For our weariness to find comfort. All because of Jesus.

"Empty me, Oh Lord..."

All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.


The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].