Letting go and letting God … find me a table


I can’t say I actually prayed for a table, so my title might be misleading. However, I think Providence was at play when I spotted a table on a sidewalk after bunch with friends this past weekend.

“Go around the block!” I commanded to my husband, who was piloting our Volkswagon.

He did, because he’s used to it

I jumped out of the car to examine the specimen. It was mid-century, blonde and drop-leafed. That last quality was key. I wanted a table that could fit nicely against the wall when it’s just two of us dining, but could easily expand to accommodate guests (and the dreams of dinner parties that dance in my head).

My husband expected me to scurry back to the car to tell him what I thought, but the thing was already bought and paid for when I got it to the car – a very reasonable $35, exactly the cash I had in my wallet.

Upon a brief examination, the table revealed it was a Heywood Wakefield, which happens to be his grandparents’ favorite furniture, and which also means it is worth much more than we paid.

So, there was a lot to make us feel like the table was meant to be, including the fact that it fit through our apartment’s narrow door.

This is an unexpected blessing, considering that just a week before I had experienced a deep table-related disappointment. I had been Craigslist surfing for awhile for a table, and we had been “picnicking” on the floor while we waited for the right one to turn up.

“Right one” = cheap, drop-leafed.

I found it on a Sunday evening – chestnut, claw-footed, drop-leafed and $25. “Be mine!” my heart cried, and I swiftly e-mailed to claim. The owner called me the next day and we agreed that I would pick it up that evening.

Two hours later, she called me to tell me someone else had bought it, and it was no longer available.

Now, I have my theories of why this deal bombed, and they all revolve around aggressive antique dealers upping my price and offering to pick it up immediately. Needless to say, my decorator’s heart was broken. And I resolved to out-Craigslist anybody who wanted to stand in my way of a table again.

This is when my husband said I was becoming addicted to Craigslist and he wanted me to stop before he had to admit me someplace (probably the same kind of place that serves chronic Facebook cases).

“But how will we find furniture?” I asked. Real furniture stores were out of our price range, and Ikea exhausts us.

“We will,” he said.

So, I reeled in my Craigslist searches, and decided that picnicking was fine. Seriously, we have had much greater housing adventures, such as when we lived in a homemade fort for our first month of marriage in a friend’s living room while looking for our own place. (I am not even kidding, even though you think I am.)

I decided that Craigslist was making me focus a little too much on things, at the expense of time with people and living life.  And I think that God may have rewarded me for that small act of detachment with that roadside find.

Because I’m pretty sure God wants me to practice hospitality and throw dinner parties.


Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.