Sunday, November 4, 2012

Salvation Army Table

Today, I started to give a make-over to our kitchen table. This table has been through a lot and could use a face lift. The summer before my junior year of college I needed to seek out affordable furniture for the apartment I'd be moving into at the beginning of Fall semester. One day mom and I scoped out our local Salvation Army and found this incredible kitchen table. It had a few scuffs/scratches on the top, but aside from that it looked pretty good and was quite sturdy. We snagged that thing (4 chairs included) for under $25.

That summer, my roommate's parents' were finishing a remodel of their kitchen. When Amy and I got ready to move into our apartment in August, they gave us their older, beautiful kitchen table to use. So the Salvation Army table became my desk.

Oh the nights that poor table had to endure as I went through my worst year of college... the nursing care plans, the early morning clinicals, the paper on teen abstinence that I made a C on, the power points, the presentations, the study guides, oh the study guides... What a year. If walls could talk... If tables could talk... Or I guess that year, if a desk could talk...

Thankfully, there were better things the table got to be a part of, like planning our 2009 trip to Guatemala, starting my first book, and working on ministry projects for my small group.

Eventually, the Salvation Army table was able to become a kitchen table again when David and I married in December 2010. It got to hold many of our wedding gifts that first week back from our honeymoon when we were iced into our apartment for three days.

The table moved with us into our first rental home about a year later where it was absolutely neglected. Since we had an official dinning room in that house, but no dinning table, I put the Salvation Army table in there, but we hardly ever sat in there to eat.

And now, it's ventured all the way to Arkansas with us, and is again being put to good use. It gets to act as not only a kitchen table were we actually do eat, but it gets to be a desk again. David prefers it to the desk in his office because there's more space to spread his giant law school books out.

So, today the four chairs were sanded down (by hand). Tomorrow, I plan on sanding down the table and getting at least the chairs painted. My hand is sore from sanding, but I'm starting to understand why people get into restorative stuff... Like restoring old homes and cars and furniture. It's hard work, but it's neat to see something old looking new again.

I wonder if God feels the same way about us. He must. After all, He created us. We are His workmanship. 

"For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:13-14

He made us.

We are His workmanship.

If walls could talk, if tables could talk, if shoes could talk... If you could sit down and tell me your life story... You've probably had more than a couple moments in your life where you feel like you were scuffed up. I know I have! And maybe, like me, you have some physical scars to show for it. Maybe there's emotional damage or a significant depletion in your bank account... You might feel like you need some restoration too, probably more than a paint job... 
Probably an overhaul.

I get why people get excited about restoring things because it's pleasing to see something old, something damaged be restored to the way it was intended to be originally. That's a desire we actually share with our Creator. His desire is to restore us. 

I'm just sanding and repainting a table. But, God desires complete transformation, restoration, and surrender. He made us. He knows the best way to help us be whatever it is He wants us to be. And to get from one state of being (whether it's emotional, physical, or spiritual) to another, it might be hard, it might hurt ... like sanding down those chairs... But I can't paint the chairs the best way without sanding them first. 

Shane Freeman (Adult Ministries Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, GA) said it so simply, "You were not saved by Jesus to remain the same. You were saved to be transformed; to be radical."

It's just a Salvation Army table and four chairs make-over to some, but to me it'll be a daily reminder of God's desire to restore and transform me into the beautiful woman of God He wants me to become.