The room is empty, totally devoid of any furniture except for one fat-cushioned arm chair. Located on the top floor, the room juts out from the back of the house, which sits on a high hill. A small, awkwardly-shaped space, its original purpose is clear only in the mind of the builder. However, the room’s interior design is redeemed by a floor-to-ceiling window which faces east, allowing you a vista of majestic mountains and glorious sunrises.
No pictures adorn the cool blue walls and there are no tables or lamps, no light except that which comes from the window. A ceiling fixture is available, if anyone wanted to put a bulb in it; but no one bothers. During the day, the sun brightens the room. At night the moon and stars or the lights from the neighbors’ houses below cast a serene glow. It doesn’t matter –if you’re not looking out the window, your eyes might be closed.
The room was not left unfurnished intentionally. It started out as a storage area, because it was not needed immediately and the house had no real attic. Old chests, broken picture frames, tattered one-eyed teddy bears and the comfortable but old fashioned armchair found their way into this extra room. One year, during a vigorous spring cleaning, everything was “recycled” - except the chair.
Of course the chair sits by the window. When unoccupied, it keeps sentinel watch over the verdant hills. Long ago someone facetiously dubbed it the “Channel.”
Listen. Something’s coming. Your spirit quickens and Someone speaks to it, “downloads,” if you like; from Great to small comes a verse, a song, a revelation, a message of encouragement, comfort, love.
But don’t think it’s all one way. You send too - dare we say “upload,” from small to Great. This chair has been watered with tears of grief and loss and confusion. A sick child sits in his mother’s lap and hears her whispered supplication for his recovery; Dad’s job takes him away too much; a beloved family pet has died; you’re just so weary. Tell Him in the chair. “I will lift up mine eyes …”
It’s heard joyful praise too. Sometimes your eyes gravitate to the hills and you sing out in spontaneous worship. You recite promises back to the One who made them, you tell him the minutiae of your life, that which interests no else. Sure, He knows it all already but he loves to hear from you anyway. Dreams and decisions are often told here first. Wistful questions to your best Friend. “How do I know if he’s right for me? What college should I choose? Is it time for me to …?”
Sometimes, unexpectedly, your Muse joins you in this chair and out of your particular joy or pain, you are inspired to create; a story, a melody, a poem.
Don’t roam. I need you near.
Who will watch the rain with me,if you are gone?
It’s your hand I seek when I’m afraid
Your smile when I am glad.
Wanderlust is good for some. They cannot be
Still. But you must be here when the leaves turn gold,
Or the nights are cold.
I will not plead but simply ask – don’t roam.
The kids laugh when Mom or Dad goes into the room to spend time in the chair. They say they’re “loading.” They laugh - until a relationship goes bad or help is needed with a test or life seems out of whack. Then quietly, almost furtively, they too seek the Channel.
There’s nothing mysterious, mystical or spooky here. The chair is simply a comfortable piece of furniture, covered in faded chintz; perhaps it’s the stillness of the room, the view of distant peaks or the promise of being heard, which draws you here. Channel is a good name for what you seek in this awkward space - but so is Prayer.
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