Sometimes bedroom furniture is more than furniture.
Recently Noah and I gave an old bedroom suit to some friends whose home was flooded by Hurricane Florence. We were happy to share with them!
The night before the move, I cleaned out the last of the stuff in the dresser drawers and dusted off the top. As I did so, the memories poured into my mind. You see, this was my childhood bedroom suit. I don’t remember sleeping in any other bed as a child.
I thought about . . .
. . . the nights as a child that I would call out to Mama or Daddy to come cover me up. I was too scared to move. I don’t know why! Maybe I thought the monster under the bed would know I was awake and come after me. After all, you never let your hand or arm hang off the bed low enough for the monster to see it.
. . . the childhood and then later teenage sleepovers with Elizabeth, my best friend
. . . the many hours of conversations between Elizabeth, Mary Lou and me about all those things that teenage girls talk about
. . . the carving found on the top of the dresser – “P + T” – (Patricia + Tommy, 5th or 6th grade boyfriend). Rather sure my brother carved those initials that are still visible on the dresser.
. . . the various apartments and homes that have housed that bed and dresser – Norlina (2), Chapel Hill (6), Durham (2), Natchez, Wilmington (2) – twelve different places if I’m remembering correctly
. . . and maybe because Will is about to get married, I remembered lying in that bed in the little upstairs bedroom in our Natchez home on the night before he was born, having contractions but not wanting to wake Noah yet who was sleeping peacefully downstairs. Well, I don’t know if he was peacefully sleeping. He was probably feeling the vibes that I was putting out because of the pain!
These are memories that I haven’t thought of in YEARS! I wasn’t having second thoughts about giving the furniture away. I was just amazed at the memories that the furniture opened in me.
Isn’t it amazing how objects or places open us up to new thoughts? Recently I began meeting with a spiritual director and even though we’ve only met twice, I am already seeing the power of centering prayer, of pondering spiritual questions, and of thinking about God’s movement in my life. We’ve talked about the power of “place” to bring us closer to God – to open us up to new thoughts. So often I find the noise of life – both literally and figuratively – leaves me closed, unaware or unavailable to receive or hear God’s voice or God’s movement.
Yet, sometimes, when I sit at my desk – my place – something opens in me and I hear a new word. A Scripture verse that I’ve read dozens of times is read with new eyes. A bird sitting outside the window sings a song that I actually hear on this day. Maybe just for a few moments there’s an openness for God’s voice and movement.
It makes me wonder what I need to do to stay open to the nudge and voice of Christ continually.
Maybe it’s just stopping. Maybe it’s just remembering.
Maybe it’s just going to my place.
Epilogue: On Saturday morning, my friend came with her daughter and a few other family members. Any possible doubt that I might have had in the deep places of my brain was completely gone when I saw how excited her daughter was at having this bedroom furniture. She was so thrilled to have a BED! She had been sleeping on a couch for over a year and now she had a place to call her own.
The story got even better when I received the 2 pictures of the furniture actually in her bedroom. I hope Samantha and her cousin will make even more memories that will lodge in their minds to be opened 50 years later.