Slowly the dirt, grime and many layers of varnish disappear as I patiently sand them away. Underneath, a beautiful teak wooden chair dating from about 1950 is emerging.
This neglected piece of furniture was lying around in a store room left by its previous owner and not claimed again. It became my latest DIY project and I am amazed at the beauty lying underneath the accumulated dust and grime of many years. At first I was planning to paint the chair, but as the beautiful teak wood emerged, I changed plans and now it will only have a good dose of teak oil so that it can exhibit its natural shine and beauty.
Sanding a chair by hand takes many hours of patient work and lots of time to reflect while doing it. That is when I began to wonder about the history of this chair.
What would it tell me if it could talk?
Maybe it witnessed the life of a family growing from being a young in love married couple to a closely knit unit with all the joy, frustrations, conflicts and tears which are synonymous with being a family, only to be thrown in a store room by the grown up children after their parents passed away.
Or, did it witness an unhappy home with lots of conflict, violence, tears and regret.
Maybe it knows the secrets of this family. The joys when a first child was born, the tears when a family member passed away, the late night talks between a parent and a child in the growing up years, the conflicts which is inevitable in life, the prayers sent to heaven in good and difficult times.
The chair has scars which can not be removed, but surely each scar has a story to tell. Did a young child playing roughly with a hand made toy make the deep scratches on the surface, or was it a careless adult or even a violent one?
I wonder how many hours someone sat one the chair mending clothes, reading, doing homework or studying. How many meals were eaten while sitting on the chair. Was it a happy existence or did conflict and worry rule its existence?
These thoughts brought me back to my own life.
What would the main theme of our family life’s story be if our furniture which have been in our home could talk?
There were good times, sad times, laughing times, conflict times and worry times, children fighting times even the occasional violent times when fights broke out between siblings.
Generally however I think our chairs will report a happy normal family life. A goal which we could not have achieved without many prayers, guidance and grace from our Heavenly Father. His Spirit has always occupied one of our chairs and set the atmosphere in our home and for that I will be eternally gratefull.
These verses from Proverbs confirm the above and admonish us to continue seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives.
Proverbs 3: 5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.
What would your furniture tell the world if they could talk?