The Chair

I snapped a picture of my granddaughter, Zoey, sitting in this little chair reading a book. A grandma’s perspective- I was just thinking she was adorable.

But then I started thinking about the chair she was sitting on. It was made for her mom, my daughter, by her godfather when she was the same age as Zoey. It struck me that I never could have imagined 30 years ago this lovely little person, let alone this beautiful moment of her “reading” in the chair.

It seemed interesting I had never thought about that. The chair has been in a special spot in our family room for years and always has had a basket of children’s books right next to it. I had many other moments watching my grandchildren sit and read in that chair. The sight has always made me happy, watching them find a cozy spot to begin the habit of reading that has brought me so much comfort, joy and illumination all my life. Though most of those sitting in that chair cannot technically read, the mystery of the turning pages and absorption of the words and pictures on the pages always lifts my heart, witnessing this first movement toward literacy.

That’s why this moment was different. As cute as Zoey was, and as much as a child looking at books delights me, my focus was on the chair and how a gift from thirty years ago never lost its specialness. It has just become more precious as an invitation to child after child, to sit and read. Neither I, nor the maker of the chair, knew its potential. I could never have imagined the goodness God had in the future plans for my family. I couldn’t have imagined the love these children would call forth in me.

Many of us seem to be more capable of worry than of faith in the future. We are better at imagining the fears more than the surprises of goodness God has in store for us.

The little chair reminds me of the people who are in our future, who we will love and who will bring meaning and purpose into our life. What if we trusted every day, with a heart of anticipation more than anxiety? Can we trust in God’s love and goodness that much? May the God of surprises invite you to live with an open heart to accept the gifts not yet imagined.