The Empty Seat That’s Not Empty…

     My husband doesn’t even need me to ask anymore.

     Whenever he notices an unique empty bench, he always snaps a photo of it. He knows there’ something about an empty bench that captures my imagination.

     Recently while vacationing in Southern California, we visited the amazing San Diego Botanic Gardens, which contained many lovely benches. As Ron snapped away, I started wondering why in the world I was so captivated by the sight of an empty seat. It dawned on me there’s something about them that reminds me of the real, yet invisible presence of the Holy Spirit.

     Today’s post contains empty seat photos as well as thoughts about the Holy Spirit, who may not be seen with our human eye but is so present in our human spirit.

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)

     Hope is huge. I’m reminded the unseen presence of the Holy Spirit has infused hope into my heart, even when life circumstances have been difficult, and my faith has felt weak and wobbly. (Bench at San Diego Botanic Gardens.)

I love the power of the Holy Spirit that came “like the blowing of a violent wind…” on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:2-4) as well as in a “gentle whisper.” (1 King 19:12). (This bench is in the Japanese Gardens at Manito Park, Spokane, WA)

Early on in his earthly ministry, Jesus referenced the importance of the Holy Spirit.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free…”
Luke 4:18 (NIV)

(This rugged bench sits in Yellowstone Park.)

David wrote, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” Psalms 139:7 (NIV)

     This thought can be unnerving if I’m trying to run away from God but realizing an omnipresent Spirit knows all about me and all about the ones I love brings my heart much comfort. (I love the cozy feel of this bench at San Diego Botanic Gardens.)


 But the Helper— the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name—that One will teach you all things and remind you of everything which I said to you. John 14:26 (DLNT)

     I am so grateful “that ONE” was not only given to Jesus’ earthly disciples but also to you and to me. The Spirit still reminds us of Christ’s life-giving words as well as the heartbeat of God in those words. (This weathered stone bench can be found at Manito Park in Spokane, WA)

The Holy Spirit, who seems sometimes ignored or minimized, is a vital member of the three-in-one God (Father, Son and Spirit).

(These benches are familiar to us who live in Coeur d’Alene, ID and enjoy walking along the Centennial Trail.)

     I hope you’ll pause to consider the presence of the Holy Spirit in your faith journey …

Sue Reeve

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