The Red Chair 

Photo by: Meg Haines

By: Carole L. Haines 

There’s a comedy show that Bruce and I watch that has a segment at the end involving a Red Chair. The premise is hilarious, basically audience members sit in the red chair and begin to tell a story. If the Host and his guests get bored with it too quickly, they pull a lever and the chair falls backwards, taking the bedazed storyteller with it. Now on the show, it’s all in jest and the participants know it’s coming. Some even tell great stories and are allowed to walk off, but they want the plunge because it’s so hilarious.  -This all got me thinking about just how often do I pull the lever on people’s stories within my own life. Do I tune them out while they are still talking, or do I lean in deeper and listen to their heart? I must admit, I do both; and I feel very convicted about that this morning. I run short on the compassion of Jesus, He would never pull the Lever on a person’s story, not ever. Jesus walked into people’s stories constantly, even as He walks into ours. He invited people into His Story for their lives, His Story for all the World. He invited Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), restored the Woman at the Well (John 4). He answered Nicodemus in his bewildered curiosity (John 3). Jesus protected the woman entrapped in adultery by self-righteous people. (John 8:1-11).  

I don’t enter people’s stories the way Jesus does, but I want to learn to do that, to enter with Grace and truth into the lives of others. And I’m not very good at inviting people into mine, but I want to learn. I sense Jesus calling me out, calling me into His Story, calling me into other people’s stories. Is He calling you too? 

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:9-14) Jesus, King of Grace and Truth, help me to love as You love. Holy Spirit, fill me with Your grace and love for others. Remove all self-righteousness, judgment and any critical spirit that is within me. I need You Jesus, Holy Spirit, My Father, to love others through me. Nothing is impossible with You, God, so I know You will transform me from being a woman alone who loves small, to a woman of God who loves others well. Teach me to love as You do. Thank You, My Jesus, I trust You to accomplish all that concerns me. Amen 

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