i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

Is this seat taken?

Is this seat taken?

Is this seat taken?

Have you ever attended a meeting where there are tables set up? Each table has chairs set around them. You stand in line to get your food and then you go to find a place to sit. The first table you walk up to has three empty chairs. As you try to make eye contact with someone at the table, you smile and ask, “Is this seat taken.”

“Yes, I am saving it.”

You approach the next table that has four empty chairs. You feel safe approaching this table. There is a familiar face and there are no coats or glasses of water in front of the chairs.

“Hello, may I sit here.”

“No, these seats are saved.”

The next table, you know not to ask, as the empty chairs have been pulled out and are leaning on the table. The person saving seats doesn’t look up at you when you walk by. They are checking their phone.

The next table you hesitate to approach. There are three empty chairs.

“May I sit here?”

“No, these seats are saved.”

Deep inside your chest, a hollow space starts to ache.

You are 12 again in the lunch room at middle school, and there is no chair for you.
You are 14 again at the Friday night dance and you sit all alone with your back against the wall.
You are 23 again and there is no chair for you in the office cafeteria.
You are 54 at a Children’s Ministry Meeting and all the seats are saved.

The last table in the room has someone sitting in every chair.

There is no place for you. There is no place for you to sit.

You toss your chicken sandwich in the garbage can and walk out the door.

A man in a long robe runs after you. He was sitting at the table that was full.

‘Take my seat. I will sit on the floor.  You may have my dinner.”

You walk back into the meeting and sit in the man’s chair. The man speaks English with a bit of an accent. There are holes in his hands and feet.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
John 14: 2-4

When I get to the house where The Man with holes in his hands and feet  has prepared a place for me,  there will be a chair for me to sit on.

When I ask, “Is this seat taken?”

He will say, “No this seat is not taken. This chair is for you.”

There will always be a chair for me in God’s house.

Have you found a place to sit down?

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

Feature Box

Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Jaana

    Unbelievably beautiful! You really touched me.

    • Thank you Jaana. I always have a space for you at my table.

  • dreaminwithdar

    Thank you for sharing this……I was drawn in immediately…..and incredibly touched. Beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Margaret Simon

    You can have a seat at my table any time.

  • Elsie

    An experience we all have had on this earth. Thankfully that will not be the case in heaven.

  • AJF