We’ve had the chair for eight years, but it’s been used with such love and bottom commitment that it could pass for an antique. Papa sits there after long work days, often watching sports with whoever is in the house.
Unless it’s the grands.
When the littles are around, they often crowd around him, scrunching close, fitting as many of their small bottoms as they can to be with him. He shares the apps he’s accumulated that appeal to children–farting and animal sounds, animal pictures, paint by number pictures. It’s magical how they watch with him what they won’t watch with anyone else.
That chair is the cozy place, a little sanctuary, the cuddle spot. The space where the kids gravitate to when they come into the room.
Because it’s Papa’s chair.
Lately the kids like to sit in it together, even if Papa isn’t squeezed in with them. It’s been their comfort spot for so long that they embrace what it represents for them.
We all have special places and spaces that make us feel comfortable and safe. Many of my best memories are about special people who were a safe refuge as I grew up, places I could hide where no one would bother me.
My dad was my safe person. In a household that was often chaotic and loud, he was the one person I could go to who would remind me that I would be fine. That words often said weren’t words that were meant, and I shouldn’t let them bother me. He reminded me that I was loved and valued even when my circumstances screamed differently.
The three of us girls shared a bedroom, and I had the top bunk. I could disappear up there when things were uncomfortable–it was easy to avoid being seen when most people don’t look up when they peer into a room. I’d hide up there and read to lose myself in other worlds and other people’s lives.
We live in a loud and chaotic world now. It’s made harder because we get news 24/7, crises drive every newscast, and whatever we hear, no matter what platform, we believe.
I’m tired. Between COVID isolation, Zoom meetings, and slowly emerging as if we’ve been in a too-long cocoon, I’m feeling the need to have that safe space. To pull away for a bit, to breathe and think, reassess and process. A chance to speak of what’s on my mind without somebody judging my words and motives before I have a chance to explain myself.
My Father has a chair–a throne–that I can come to, unafraid, unannounced, unprepared. I can share with Him whatever is on my mind and heart and know He hears the deeper meaning of my thoughts and won’t jump to conclusions.
God is that kind of a Father.
He has space for anyone who wants to come.
I often picture myself climbing onto God’s lap to speak to Him of my needs, hurts, desires. I can sense His warmth, His presence, His invitation to stay awhile and unload whatever burdens I have.
There’s room on my Father’s chair for anyone who chooses to come.