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If Chairs Could Talk

“How many chairs are in your house?”

It was a simple question the local DJ asked and although I was in the middle of the thousand little chores I needed to get to that day, something made me stop and count them. Quite surprised by the number, I counted 38…thirty eight chairs placed on all fours at my residence! So many places to sit. Yet as my eyes fixed upon each one I recalled the invaluable purpose they held. They had occupied deep conversations, hurting hearts, secret sins and confessions. They had held encouragement and healing along with arguments and apologies. Deeply seated prayer sessions and bible studies had settled into the upholstery.

If my chairs could talk, I wonder what they would say. Would they chide me for not being loving enough or patient enough? Would they encourage me to lean into others’ pain and not shrink back from “weeping with those who weep”?  Would they advise me to go further, to care more, or to let go of solving loved ones’ problems? Or maybe they would tell me to sit quietly and let His still small voice speak into the restlessness I so often experience.

Or maybe it’s all of the above.

I recognize that hospitality is high on the gifts spectrum for my husband and me. This translates into the welcome mat outside of our door really meaning “WELCOME”. Upon entering my humble abode, you will find us fussing over you and if you can’t find a place at the table, there is plenty of overstuffed, comfy couch room for you to sit. What typically ensues between the entering and the exiting is more than mere conversation. Our desire is that our home would be a safe place to unload and our chairs would hold up those who are about to sink. By God’s grace, secret pain has been shared. Confessions of anger and hurt, unforgiveness and bitterness, along with revelation of abuse and mental confusion have spilled out over the fabric as pain is absorbed and fellowship takes place.

I have discovered that certain personalities enjoy the Victorian, flowery setting as that antique sofa holds precious old souls who experience the freedom of sharing tales from the past with a garden full of memories. Some prefer the kitchen table straight-up chairs that hold morsels that sustain the body and an endless supply of food for thought. While others want to recline at the sturdy Lazy Boy and drift into a God-peace until their cares start to freely fade.  But no matter the personality, our chairs have occupied precious souls in need of a resting place from the overload of life. We all need a place and a person that will make us feel at home with no strings attached. We need that safe space to throw off our shoes and our burdens, put our feet up and lift our eyes, and enter into the koinonia that just feels like home. Fellowship is not just hanging out together. 1 John 1:7 says this, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” And I love Galatians 6:2, Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” And one more, just to get the feel, Show hospitality to one another without grumbling”. (1 Peter 4:9) I could go on to prove that fellowship and hospitality have little to do with curtain-talk, discussing politics, or the latest fashions. My chairs would testify to the depth of listening and of caring and getting to the heart of person. 

Clearly I haven’t perfected this gift, but by God’s grace and the power of Holy Spirit I am learning and growing and (hopefully) always welcoming.

 So, come, pull one up and feel the magic of burdens released. I believe these chairs have just about heard it all…and you can be assured they won’t tell a soul.

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Lori Travers

Lori finds the Joy of the Lord to be her strength. Born and raised an Italian Jersey girl, she has finally settled in the south as Reynolda Presbyterian church became her new home. Ministry to women, reading, writing, cooking, and anything having to do with animals are her sweet spots. Having a background in cardiac testing, she chose to stay home and raise three incredible children who are now married, and currently has 2 precious granddaughters and one faithful husband of 34 years.

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