There it sat in all its glory at the corner of newness and old. What once was old for someone, was now becoming new for another who would treasure it for years to come. The table sat upright with stories held inside, stories of its previous past. Stories that its new owners would never know or hear. Perhaps these stories were fabulous stories of the previous family, who sat around it day in and day out enjoying life. This table may have endured little children growing up, along with the spills and drills of everyday life. Maple syrup from waffles, and dents and dings from tiny matchbox cars were clearly visible in the grain of the wood. This table would again become another someone’s heirloom, and it would carry the traditions and stability that any table could possibly hold.
This table all weathered and worn, was able to be seen as renewed from the perspective of a five year old, who saw it as the most beautiful gift of the day. I had the privilege of helping deliver furniture to a woman who had been homeless. She now has a home to live in and is resetting her “life button”. She is now able to spend her time with less worry, as she focuses on her family and life.
We take so much for granted in life. Maybe for some, this table was worn and ready for the trash. For others it would represent and be a simple reminder of all we are privileged to have. But, for those that have so little, it is a blessing and reminder of how someone else’s fortune can become another’s true life treasure.
Delivering furniture and household items to the less fortunate is something I have been doing for over a year. I work with other volunteers helping those in need to start a new life. Serving the less fortunate took on a new twist yesterday, as I helped deliver an enormous oak dining room table to a family of five. What once seemed old and worn to another, would now become this family’s newness, their blessing for the day.
After having lived in a shelter, the beauty of renting a small home gave a homeless woman a new glow, as we moved items into her home, her foundation for her new life. She is a mother to four beautiful children, four small lives that now can be reassured in knowing they are safe and have their very own door to walk through every day. This door holds the key to their futures. This door of their very own home is now their link to a happy, family life.
As we unpacked a truck full of household items, the four small children ages one through twelve, were overjoyed by each item we unloaded. We brought Christmas in January as we walked through their door, carrying everything from small bags of clothing to large mattresses, which would allow these small lives the ability to no longer sleep on the floor. The boxes of used toys which when opened released giggles from these small children, and the walls echoed through the home. Although the echoes were from empty rooms, we were soon able to fill the rooms with love by placing mattresses, small tables, blankets and numerous items to help bring this home to life. The last item on the list was the enormous dining room table and chairs. As we brought the table inside, I watched a five year old boy became drawn to it being placed in the dining room. He looked at me and said “my table”, and I knew that all our aches and pains from loading and unloading that day did not go in vain. The most important item of the day was not the pots and pans, nor the toys spread out on the floor, it was this giant oak pedestal table that this boy saw as his lifeline to his new home. As we placed the table on the floor, and arranged the chairs around it, this tiny boy quickly sat at the chair of his choice. His smile was a masterpiece that could only have been painted by God. This small boy finally had a place to sit and play his games, talk to his sister, and smile at his mama as he quietly took in the moment of the day.
For all the times I’ve thrown out items in my home, broken bottles, old lamps and blankets, I never even thought that these items could and would be cherished by someone else. So as I left this family of five, and drove home I realized that even when we are tattered and worn, God still sees the beauty in us and can renew our lives through him and give us purpose. I now see myself as a Repurposer of items, giving new life to old treasures, for in the end it is not about how we look on the outside, but our worth on the inside and how we can still stand sturdy and strong if we have a Christ like heart.
Find a local organization in your area and volunteer to help the Homeless!