19 September 2008

Resting on Grace, part 2

I promised the story of my front porch chairs, newly enthroning me as I eat my fruit salads in the early-autumn evenings.

A friend of my father's gave him two old camp chairs--or perhaps he found them at Goodwill--wooden folding framwork complimented by thick, faded red canvas fabric to make the seat and the back.

He was particularly fascinated and delighted by their design, but because my mother didn't care for them and because one of the chairs had ripped fabric, he was never able find a suitable place to use them on a regular basis.

My parents recently moved, and I became the fortunate heiress of several treasures as they packed their boxes. As I visited them in their new home in a new state, Dad took me out to the garage, attempting to send me home with more of the things they couldn't find places for.

I stood in amazement. How could he be offering to part with his precious camp chairs? But that he was, saying, "Now that you have a sewing machine, you could get new fabric and fix them."

Without realizing it at the time, I heard in that moment one of the central themes of grace in our world: Sometimes you have to give something up in order to restore it. In giving me the chairs, my father gave them their only hope of survival, the chance that I would take pity on them and sew them some new seats and backs. Which is, in essence, what we all must do with our hearts, giving them up to our God to be created new.

Meanwhile, I had the dusty old wooden frames and some idea of what kind of fabric to look for. I eventually made my way to the fabric store, and browsing through the bargan scrap bin, found a piece of denim sturdy enough and big enough to do the job. And rather than the $4.37 I thought I would have to pay, the clerk gave me a discount and I got it for just about $2.50. A bargain-lover's favorite kind of shopping trip.

I finally finished the project, got rid of the junky chairs that used to occupy the porch, and called Dad as I sat in one of the chairs to tell him they were done. I knew he'd be pleased to hear it.

"Well, cool!" he said. "Now you can give them back to me for Christmas!"

"I don't know..." I said. "You're certainly welcome to come and visit them..."

1 comment:

  1. I loved this statement... Sometimes you have to give something up in order to restore it. Yes. Bittersweet.


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