Dining Room Furniture

When my family moved from Cancun to Dawsonville we couldn’t bring much. We brought some boxes and some suitcases but most everything was sold before we left. The only piece of furniture we brought with us was our dining room table. It was the first piece of furniture we bought as a young married couple an it really is lovely, hand-carved and heavy. Last winter it cracked as the weather turned cold and all the humidity left the wood, but this summer it has swollen together as it sat all alone in the room that is called the dining room. It is missing a piece that fits on the top and we didn’t have any chairs for it. But I like it sitting there, like a symbol of where we’ve come from, our journey. So now we have some chairs and I’ve been meaning to share the story…So, not this past Saturday, but the one before that I was home alone and it was cold. Not frigid, but coming out of a long hot Georgia summer it felt pretty cold to me. I was sitting on my couch with my Bible, my journal and the study I’ve been working through. I really wanted to take advantage of the empty house but I kept being distracted by feeling cold. I had on what I felt was enough clothes and we are trying to wait as long as possible before turning on the heat for the winter, so I decided I would go outside and stand in the sun. The sun was warm. It felt good. I kinda wandered around my yard a bit. I looked at my sorry excuse for a flower garden and I pondered how to get my ivy to grow in a different direction and I was observing my half-painted mailbox and wondering if I was ever going to finish it when I saw the chairs. Four chairs sitting in the sun at the end of the driveway two houses down. Now in Mexico its common practice to put anything you no longer want or need out at the curb and by the next morning, or sometimes within mere moments, someone who needs that very thing will come along and pick it up and take it away. It’s such an accepted practice that one has to be very careful not leave anything still wanted out in the open for anytime at all or it will be gone. I don’t think its as common here in the US, at least not in places where I have lived, but when I saw the chairs my first thought was that the chairs were unwanted. But then I realized that I live in the United States of America at the end of a quiet street in a middle class neighborhood in a very small town. People do not drive by looking to see if anyone’s trash will be their treasure. I decided maybe they had been put outside in the sun to air out from a spill or some mold or something. I walked over closer to see what I could see.There were four chairs, very used but still solid, almost a matched set. Wood with upholstered seats and cane backs, more traditional than modern but kinda funky. I looked around, no one else was out soaking up the sun. I was feeling pretty convinced that the chairs had been put out for me, they weren’t exactly what I’d been hoping and praying for the past year and a month but extremely close. But I certainly didn’t want to steal them. So I took a deep breath and walk up the neighbor’s driveway, which is rather long, and rang their doorbell. It took a long time for the man of the house to answer and when he did it was pretty obvious he had been asleep. He seemed a bit confused by me standing there and I felt awkward but I managed to ask if the chairs were unwanted and he answered that they were and I said I would like to take them and he said ok. So I thanked him and apologized for waking him and walked back down the driveway. The chairs were just heavy and awkward enough that I had to carry them home one at a time and I was not cold at all by the time I was done. They fit in the dining room quite nicely. They need to be sanded and primed and painted and decorated and the fabric on the seats will need to be changed, but they are cool chairs and I think they will look quite nice in shades of blue. And that’s the whole physical story of the finding and claiming of the chairs, but it’s not really the story I want to tell.The story I really want to tell as how this had had an enormous spiritual impact on me. I don’t really know how to share, because it all seems kinda weird. But I had been praying for those chairs and I absolutely feel like God purposely provided them to me. Just typing it out makes me feel odd. I think I may have to explore this in a later post.

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