Yesterday, we sold a bistro table that Amy and I bought when the twins were born. We put that table through a lot as a family. It was a cool table, too. I always wanted one. It was ours for nearly a thousand dollars, which we had to pay off. But, selling it for even 100.00 was really hard.
That was depressing. A picture on Facebook couldn’t tell people all this table had seen us through. Four moves into four different houses. Three growing infants. Countless meals, cups of coffee, heartfelt conversations. It was a relic. A survivor. A piece of family history.
Zachary had forced us to move that table into one of the spare rooms for storage. He had broken three of its chairs on his own. There weren’t enough chairs for our family to sit at the table anymore. Which was fine with me since I didn’t break any of the chairs. Thanks to the durability of those chairs, and their high back rest, my son escaped brain injury as he sailed backwards three separate times.
Story had etched thoughtful scribbles into the polyurethane finish with pencils and other utensils. It was actually funny when we extended the table by putting out the leaf after years of wear. The leaf was like new — a beautifully smooth, untouched surface of shiny cherry wood — whereas the rest of the table just looked tired. It was sparkling white teeth on an ugly person.
So, Amy posted some pics of our poor table online and sold it for $70. I borrowed a truck from one of our friends and loaded it up. Some lady we didn’t know wanted it without the chairs. She was a stranger. She didn’t show much interest in the reason why we were selling our stuff, including this table. It was a matter of function for her. She wasn’t buying to put us on a plane.
Which is fine. Even when people buy our stuff unaware of where the money will go, they are helping out. That’s humorous to me. And, it makes me happy. The fact that we can sell a worn table without chairs to a stranger who doesn’t care what country we will be moving to, and then use that money to get there, is like God’s little wink. A table becomes a tool in the hands of God to accomplish His purpose in our lives, even when its exchanged for $70.
I barely fit this table in the back of my friend’s truck and followed GPS across town to this woman’s apartment. I was a little nervous that she would change her mind about her purchase once she saw the table in person. Once she saw its scratches in real time. After inspecting the wobby legs that needed tightening, she might tell me to take it home. So, I decided that I would stand up for it if this happened.I thought of its good, abiding qualities.
When I arrived, and she saw the table, she gave it a stare. I talked about its character. I explained that it was just in need of simple love. And, she shoved the bills in my direction. I took them quickly and thanked her. The transaction was complete. And, I noticed she had a little girl, a little older than the twins were when we bought the table. Moisture came to my eyes as I thought, “This table is experiencing the Circle of Life.” What a beautiful life it had lived, full of small children who would eventually be its downfall.
I like the thought of getting a few bucks from stuff we own for missions work, but its even more special to consider that these things will be renewed by a whole new family. A piece of our family will live with them.Literally, our childrens’ DNA is fused into the cracks and scratches on that crafted lumber. Its astonishing to think about. That while we prepare to move to another country, a part of our life will remain in this town in some stranger’s apartment who doesn’t really care what we are doing.
But, that’s the cool part of selling our stuff.