Wednesday, November 07, 2007

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Daddy's Empty Chair

by Anonymous at Mystical Paths

A man's daughter had asked the local Rabbi to come and pray with her father. When the Rabbi arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed. The Rabbi assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit.
"I guess you were expecting me", he said.
"No, who are you?" said the father. The Rabbi told him his name and then remarked, "I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was going to show up."

"Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden man. "Would you mind closing the door?." Puzzled, the Rabbi shut the door. "I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter," said the man. "But all of my life I have never known how to pray. In Shul I used to hear the Rabbi talk about prayer, but it went right over my head. I abandoned any attempt at prayer," The old man continued, "Until one day four years ago, my best friend said to me, "Johnny, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with HASHEM.

Here is what I suggest. "Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see HASHEM on the chair. It's not spooky because He promised us, "I will be with you always".
"Then just speak to Him in the same way you're doing with me right now."

"So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I'm careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm."

The Rabbi was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him and returned to the Shul.

Two nights later the daughter called to tell the Rabbi that her daddy had died that afternoon. "Did he die in peace?," he asked.
"Yes, when I left the house about two o'clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, he was no longer breathing. ...But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?"

The Rabbi wiped a tear from his eye and said, "I wish we could all go like that."

I asked HASHEM for water, He gave us oceans.
I asked HASHEM for a flower, He gave us gardens.
I asked HASHEM for a friend, He gave me all of YOU...
If HASHEM brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

Happy moments, praise HASHEM.
Difficult moments, seek HASHEM.
Quiet moments, worship HASHEM
Painful moments, trust in HASHEM.
Every living moment, thank HASHEM.

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