Table Therapy – part 2
The following day I busied myself with the wood putty. There is something glorious about mixing and squishing that stuff in your hands, slowly but surely making a new colour from two. Perhaps it has something to do with old childhood memories of play dough or is the reason pigs revel in mud? Whatever the reason, I gently pushed the putty into the larger cracks with the aid of a small spatula, smoothing the lumps over with my fingers. Standing back to admire my handiwork the stirring movement transposed into a soft hum.
With anticipation I watched as my husband fastened the support beams he had fashioned earlier that day; loathe to add something so unoriginal to a vintage item but knowing we had little choice. The time to reattach the table top had finally come. My task was to hold the planks down as firmly as my strength would allow while he crawled underneath with a drill and screwdriver. The table was soon whole again.
All along I had been conscious of a developing refrain but experienced the magnitude of its power while working my way around the table top, encouraging the beeswax polish into the grain. The table had beauty despite how dry and parched the wood had been from so many years of neglect. Now it absolutely sang as the fibres drank up the moisture - a rich soulful harmony from deep within the heart, starting out gently and increasing in intensity. I revelled in the silent symphony.
Somewhere in that profoundly healing moment the realization came that I was experiencing soul therapy. Pausing, rag in hand, I pondered the table’s song. A chord resonated deep within me.
My soul had been dry and my paint was chipped. Cracks had appeared. Life’s dings and bangs and bruises covered me. Broken, I had foolishly believed that nothing valuable was left to offer. And yet…there was.
‘A bruised reed he will not break and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out’ (Isaiah 42:3).
Though my very being desperately desired to hide these imperfections from the world, the graceful old table boldly proclaimed that evidence of such things is what gives rise to character…
Lost in my reverie, little attention had been paid to the polish in my hand. Dabbing the rag in to get some more I happened to glance into the tin. At the bottom where the polish was gone a heart shape emerged in the wax.
‘God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Romans 5:8)
Never believing for a moment this was mere coincidence, a smile spread across my lips as my soul joined in the chorus…
The table is finished now. Is it perfect? No. Does it still bear the scars of its life? Yes. Is there evidence of where we have fixed it? Absolutely! But it is well loved all the same; a table with a story to tell. God has used this table to remind me that ‘he has made all things beautiful in his time’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11). If only we will allow him to.
So often I get frustrated with my inabilities, my perceived areas of failure, and my stumblings. My chipped paint and cracks leave me feeling weak. But then God speaks. He says, ‘“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)