I read a novel a while ago, it was written by Jeffrey Deaver, an awesome author whose books have always held me captive. The novel in question was part of the series on the genius crime scene investigator, Lincoln Rhyme. The book’s title was “The Empty Chair”. It was as captivating and addictive as the ones before it and the ones after it.
In the book a psychological therapeutic measure was described. It involved placing a client/patient in a room with two empty chairs facing each other. She/he is to sit on one of the chairs and imagines somebody with whom there are some unresolved emotional issues or conflict sitting in the opposite chair. The aim is to have a no holds barred dialogue with this individual and in the process express bottled up emotions ,pent up anger, ask questions that couldn’t be asked because possibly the individual is dead. This all happens with the psychologist playing the role of a moderator but doesn’t interfere.
The goal of this therapeutic technique is for the client/patient to accept polarities and acknowledge conflicts that exist in him/her. This is a summarized summary of the Gestalt therapeutic technique in psychology called “The Empty Chair technique”.
So today I am seated and opposite me is an empty chair and I am about to have a conversation with my “empty chair”.
“The first references I heard of you were in the labor room where I was born. I was crying and shouting myself hoarse and the masked people around were all jubilant and thanking you for a job well done. As I grew up I began to learn about you in greater detail. I actually went to classes to learn about you and your works, both literary and physical. I was taught about your spiritual work and its role in my existence today. I was taught that you are God and that I should call you Father.
I learnt of your tripod attribute. Your knowledge of all things (Omniscient), your presence in all places at the same time (Omnipresent) and your being the all powerful (Omnipotent). That makes this dialogue a bit awkward, since I know you know all things (lol). I soaked up all this with my childish mind and strived to be a good son to such a wonderful Father.
As I grew to adolescence it became evident to me, that I had a lot of knowledge about you but it was not impacting my life like I would like. So I sought for answers and found that having a personal experience with you and not vast knowledge about you is what matters. I have tried to do that ever since and by all measures I am still trying.
Much as I have tried, I have not always been good or honest or saintly. I have fallen so many times that I have lost count, but I have not stopped walking towards you.
In my walk with you Father I have had some unresolved issues, issues that I have not gotten satisfactory answers to. It is these issues that I hope we will talk about today.
I start with death, the death of a good man/woman.
In my short lifespan I have come to realize that the good die young and some even die unsung. But the evil and wicked on the other hand live long lives full of sowing seeds of wickedness and sorrow.
When I sought for answers, what I found was grossly unsatisfactory and I dare say illogical. I was told that the wicked ones you give a longer lifespan is for them to have time to repent and come to know you. But the good you call home early to preserve their purity.
This is absolutely illogical, because I will expect the wicked to go early so they stop corrupting the earth. The good on the other hand will have a longer time to spread their goodness and bring people to you by their lives.
Twenty years ago you took my Dad when he was just getting ready to settle down and have a good rest; the type of rest that follows the end of a major task or project. His project then was to raise us up and after treading water for so long, it was time to rest and enjoy the fruits of his labor. But you called him home, I didn’t understand it then and I don’t now. Yesterday, you did it again. You called the father of a very dear friend home at the time he was also getting ready to slow down and rest.
He was by all accounts a good man and by all measures not wicked. Was it wrong to expect that he partakes in the fruits of his labor? Was it too much to ask that he sees his first grandchild or his children get married? By all that is good, couldn’t you have allowed him to spread more goodness on the face of the earth? But you took him in the blink of an eye. Why would you do that?
Father it will be good if you give an answer. With you I know silence is not affirmation but your words end all debate. It will be nice to know why you always stop the good in their tracks and allow the wicked run haywire on the face of the earth!!!!!
A couple days earlier a colleague had died in a ghastly auto accident. By all accounts he was described as a guy with a good heart, but he died on the spot of the accident. You allowed him go too. You called him home unsung.
So now will be a very good time to answer Father. Why will the good man/woman have to live in fear of an early death and the wicked live in certainty of enough time to spread evil? Why be good when it couldn’t even earn me enough time in life to live fully?” (sniffling)