Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sacred Spaces

Pray and stay. Stay and pray. And listen with an open-heart. Through all the running you’ve done, your accomplishments are none. “If you had only taken the time to hear God.”  This is a precept to what I am about to express.
It seems we are always in a ‘slow hurry’. Whether a lifestyle is slow-paced or you’re in high demand, there are never enough hours in the day. Never enough time! Your life doesn’t feel like you own. No is not in your vocabulary. Does this sound familiar? Are you guilty? I am!

Our lifestyles demand and dictate doing things in a hurry.  I have learned that ‘you live and you learn’. The longer you live, the more you will learn how to live.
My reference is always my mother. She was a smart and very wise woman. When she spoke, you listened, whether you wanted to or not. Her stance was via demand and undeniably stoic, yet forbearing. Her ‘choice of words could be questionable but worthy of acknowledgement. She used to say ‘be anxious for nothing, it will come in due season.’ I didn’t understand that phrase then, but as I grew up and learned to be patient, all I wanted and desired either happened or is still coming to pass. And maybe accomplishments are not in my desired time-frame, but I know they're in the making.

So, I’m learning to ‘pick my battles’ as she would have put it. I’m trying really hard to understand and believe that everything doesn’t revolve around me, or how I do it, Even if I pay an integral part of the situation or finished product. That’s the result of ‘Growth!’ It comes with time and supplication. So, therefore, my calm in the midst of daily storms is being still. Even if it’s for five minutes.  Just stay and pray – then press your ‘reset button.’


PJ Payne

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Messenger and the Chair

Recently, my sister and I visited my brother at a medical facility. In the midst of the visit, an impacting and profound experience occurred.
We were chatting with him about old times and when we were growing up. There was only one chair in the room but about four of us. My brother suggested asking for extra chairs, but we were all comfortably perched either on his bed or leaning. He decided to call for an extra chair anyway, and eventually, an aid brought one in. I pulled the chair up, but no one sat there and we didn’t miss a beat in our reminiscing. We really didn't want to move from our relaxed positions.
About 5 minutes later, a tall gentleman walked through the door. We were all amazed, as none of us knew him, or expected a visitor. He smiled and introduced himself as a Chaplain. We were compliant but puzzled as to why he would be there. Understandably, chaplains usually visit during critical illnesses, which of course didn’t apply to this given situation. He went on to say that he was referred by my brother’s daughter-in-law, whom he counseled during her husband’s demise (my brother’s son). We then understood the connection but instantly felt a hush and sadness in the room.

He asked if he could sit and talk to my brother for a minute - give him some encouragement. Of course, we were all whole-heartedly receptive. He sat in the ‘Empty Chair’. His words were so apropos for the situation; we all gained reassurance and an inspirational outlook. His Spirit was so inviting and refreshing. When he finished, I saw a look in my brother’s eyes that depicted hope, acceptance, but most of all peace. Incidentally, my brother was wearing an ‘initialed’ sports T-shirt that belonged to his son.

As the Chaplain finished speaking with us, he asked if he could pray with us, reiterating the invitation of and the importance of God in our lives.
Just before he left, my brother made an impacting point of observation. He said, “that chair was for you."
Isn’t it amazing how God reveals Himself! He always shows up...

The Chair

We pulled up a chair
but no one would sit
didn't know at the time
whose body it would fit

we talked and talked
and kept on going
still, the chair was empty
us not knowing

And when he walked in
and he sat down
God only knew
it was for him, it was found
that he was the reason
that chair stayed empty
For He filled it with the Word
Not preempted

Thank you, Father,
for that chair, we thought empty
You were there, You filled it
No question, but simply
that we knew not, at the time
how Your Word was Really needed
Then in the midst of it all
our minds conceded

Your plan
Your time
Your way
YOU were Seated
... in The Chair