A young girl asked her pastor if he would pray with her sick father.
When the pastor arrived, he found the girl´s father laying in bed with his head propped up on the pillows.
An empty chair was beside his bed. “Where you expecting me?” the pastor asked looking at the chair.
“No,” the father replied. “Who are you?”
The pastor explained to the father that his daughter had sent him. “I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was coming.”
“Oh, the chair,” the father said. Would you mind closing the door?
Once the pastor closed the door, the father said. “I am going to tell you the story of that chair. I´ve never told anyone about this before, not even my daughter. But all of my life, I have never known how to pray.
At church, I used to hear the pastor talking about prayer, but it went over my head. I abandoned any attempt at praying.
Then, one day, when my best friend told me ‘prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest: Sit down on a chair, place an empty chair in front of you and in faith see Jesus on that chair. It is not silly because he promised ´I will be with you always´. Then, just speak to him as you are speaking to me now.´
So I tried it, and I liked it so much that I do it for a couple of hours every day. I am careful though, if my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she would send me to the funny farm.”
The pastor found the story very touching. So he encouraged the father to continue on that journey.
After all that conversation, the pastor prayed with the man, anointed him with oil and returned to church.
Two days later, the girl called the pastor saying her father had gone to be with Jesus.
Did he die in peace? The pastor asked.
“Yes”, the girls said. When I left the house, he called me to be near the bedside and told me he loved me, kissing me on the cheek. Then I went to the store, and when I got back, he was gone.
But there was something strange about his passing, the girl explained. He rested his head on the chair beside the bed. Does it make sense to you? She asked.
The pastor cried and said. “I wish we all could go like that, with our heads in Jesus´s lap.”