I found a blue chair by the side of the road. Not just any blue chair, the exact chair I was looking for. I wasn’t expecting it to be blue, but it is the right height, size, and made of pure, solid wood. There is a crack in the one leg, right where it attaches to the seat, but it’s still perfect – exactly what I want.
I drove by the blue chair at first, not even thinking much of it. Then as I replayed the image in my mind, I knew it was the perfect chair. My father was out at the store so I called him, “Are you driving by the book store in the old factory? If you go by, and there is a blue chair outside, please buy it!” My blue chair was $5.
When the blue chair came in the house, my family wondered what on earth I am going to do with it. I kept it by my desk for a week, to see how I liked it. I stacked some books on it; I placed my purse on it; I even sat on it. It’s perfect.
But I have a vision for something better. This something better will require a lot of work and patience. It will require me to learn new skills in order for it to be better. I will also need to call on the help of other people because I cannot do it alone. First, I learn to sand. My father gives me a lesson in sanding wood (something I haven’t done since I was small) and he also teaches me to use the electric sander (something I have never used at all). I learn to sand with the grain and to dust the paint dust off of the paper once in a while. He then teaches me to glue the legs back on and he helps me to secure the leg for it to sit overnight.
The next day, I go back to the chair. I sit among the paint dust and wood dust and I sand. I sand for hour and watch as ever so slowly the blue chair reveals its wood. The wood is beautiful and the grain is soft.
Now the chair sits in my garage. The project is not close to being done, but it is closer than when I started. Most of the wood is now showing, though there is still spots of blue paint to sand away. I will work on it more before later this week when I give it to my cousin, an artist, who will create this once solid-blue chair into a beautiful work of art.
I think we’re all a little bit like blue chairs. Some people may drive by us and not think twice. Some people may see beauty in our chipped paint. Some people may take time to sit with us in the dust as we’re slowly sanded down into our true being. Others will be the sand paper used to shape us into who we were created to be.
Our transformation happens over time. As I now look at my wooden chair with blue freckles standing amidst blue paint dust, I don’t see it as an merely an unfinished project. I see it for the work that has gone into it, I see it for what it could be, and I see it for what it will become.