Ever wonder where your favorite story was written? Tolkien used his stately desk, Laura Ingalls Wilder enjoyed her farmhouse nook and Robin Jones Gunn loves her Hawaiian nest. And me? Well, I wouldn’t claim to stand amongst writers like them, but I can still show you the corner of the world where I often pen letters, jot journal entries or scribble story plots.
First I have to share its story. A writing cabinet with three shelves, a cupboard, a mirror and a fold-down desk stood in my (living) Grandma’s childhood home and later served one of her sisters. It was well used and loved like many pieces that saw the Great Depression. This past fall, it was given to me. The glass door was long gone, but the mirror was still there. I especially loved the cubbies above the desk! After spending a few days hearing tales about the world this cabinet watched, I knew I wanted to do something special with it. However, before anything else, it needed some work.
My family pitched in to refresh this heirloom piece. Cleaning, shellacking, sanding, painting, repairing…It took a fair amount of TLC. Was all the work worth it? See for yourself!
Pretty darling, isn’t it? The brown paint represents the hard work of past generations who put down roots. The green represents growth and new life. I like to think this cabinet got a fresh start. In some ways, it’s like it’s a whole new creation.
It makes me think of what God does for His children. He makes us new. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV). It’s like He gets out His brushes, paints, sandpaper and cleaning cloths and gives a cobwebby, musty, chipped, scratched heart a makeover. Sure, there will still be some rough edges or the paint will need a touch up, but where it counts the Master Carpenter gives His workmanship a fresh start.
That’s a theme that rambles through my head when I come to my little writing desk.
“Finish, then, thy new creation; Pure and spotless let us be. Let us see thy great salvation Perfectly restored in thee; Changed from glory into glory, Till in heav’n we take our place, Till we cast our crowns before thee, Lost in wonder, love and praise.”
~”Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” by Charles Welsey (Trinity Hymnal, #460)
My Grandma who went to heaven earlier this year told me that there was a cabinet nearly identical to this one in her childhood home as well. Her minister father kept his sermons organized on the shelves. You can imagine the “made new” cabinet is even dearer to me now.