“Honey I bought the chairs!”
Huh? I thought… “What chairs?”
“The chairs I was telling you about. At the Salvation Army. Four chairs for six dollars!”
“Oh… what do they look like?”
“Well, they aren’t very nice.”
“That’s a good start,” I said.
“They are patio chairs with horizontal vinyl stripes.”
“Like beach chairs?”
“No. They don’t fold up or recline. Oh, and they are pretty old so there is a little bit of red stained on the chair.”
“Sounds amazing. Where are they?”
“We have to go pick them up, I can’t fit them in the car.”
The next day we drive over to the Salvation Army to pick up these chairs. On the way, I mention to JD that I am very nervous about these chairs. “They sound really ugly,” I tell him. “Well, they aren’t that great, but they aren’t that bad either. I’m trying to make them sound worse than they are so that I won’t build up your hopes.” “OK,” I said, and then we pull up.
We walk into ‘the Army and walked past several pieces of furniture. That chair looks nice, I think as we walk past a white wicker chair with blue cushions. So does that one… a wooden chair with an oak finish. After what seemed like an entire store length of furniture, we walk up to a bundle of patio chairs, stacked on top of each other, with rusted seats and a sheet of paper reading “Groves, paid.” Oh my goodness. These can’t be them. No way are we taking these chairs home. What was he thinking??? “No.” I said. “We can’t bring these home. These are the ugliest chairs I have ever seen in my entire life. These are someone else’s trash! They just felt guilty throwing them away since they are so large and awkward and so they brought them here!” And then I see the look on his face and pick up my foot to stick it in my mouth. “Honey, I know they aren’t very nice right now… but I want to fix them up! A little spray paint will do them wonders.” Half joking and half hurt, my husband insists we lug the four, most hideous chairs I have ever seen, into our car so that he might fix them up. I walk out the door a few steps ahead of him, still shocked that he saw potential in these chairs.
On the way to the hardware store I apologized for my words, “I’m sorry, it’s just that… well… I think I underestimated their ugliness.” He smiles and looks at me, “Just you wait babe. Just you wait.” And then he says, “I just need to you to trust me.” Well now I feel like the worst wife in the whole world but I still can’t believe that he bought these chairs. “Just think of it like two drinks at Starbucks Annie, that’s all we paid for these chairs,” he tells me. “Now come help me pick out some paint.”
The paint aisle is full of different colors of spray paint. I point to the neon pink can. “Really?” He asks. “No,” I joked… “but if we have to buy ugly chairs we might as well buy ugly paint.” JD smirks at me and points to a tan color. “That will be fine,” I say, and we walk up to the counter and purchase spray paint so my husband can make ugly chairs beautiful.
I tell him that everyone must see these ugly chairs and take a picture of them with my camera phone to send to our parents. “Are you sending that picture so you can send after shots too?” He asks playfully… “JD, if your chairs turn out OK it will be a miracle. But yes, I will,” and I agree to give his chairs a chance. “You are going to eat your words,” he tells me.
And so here I am. Eating my words. Because my husband took a piece of garbage and turned it into something worth using. And I’m thankful that God has given him an eye for this sort of thing… because I think this piece of Jesus – the piece that wants to heal and restore and make things new – is in my husband and is used in a very real and tangible way… even with ugly patio chairs.