A couple of Sunday’s ago, Ian was driving me to work for my shift collecting our weekly meals from Second Harvest. We were early, and we were also having a disagreement. We got to the church and Ian pulled over on Cowan Avenue and we tried to talk it out but it wasn’t going anywhere. We couldn’t even agree to disagree. With this in mind, after about 20 minutes of talking, I just decided to say goodbye and go into work. It was not the best farewell.
I was walking up the driveway to the church entrance when I saw a table discarded on the driveway. I had seen it before being used by one of our partner organizations and loved it. I was even keeping my eye out for one similar (if you know me, you know I love finding free stuff on the side of the road or on Facebook Marketplace!). This table was now broken, and the leg was nowhere in plain sight although I did eventually find it in a planter near the door. I stood for a couple of minutes beside the table looking at it, wondering if I should put my name on it and take it home later. I was about to just forget it, thinking I had no way to get it home, when I looked up and saw Ian was still sitting in the car looking at me, waiting to make sure I was okay. I was expecting that he would have driven away quickly after our departure, but there he was at the end of the long driveway.
I picked up the table and started walking back to the car. Ian got out, and silently started moving the seats around to fit the table in. I ran back for the leg, put it in the trunk, and he closed up the back. I looked at him, he at me, and we hugged each other both saying sorry. “You drive me nuts, but I love ya.” – something we tell each other often, covered in deep love. This garbage broken table brought us together in an unexpected way, and is slowly being fixed and repainted in my backyard.
Forgiveness is something I struggle with sometimes. It is hard for me to admit I am wrong, and it is hard for me to know someone may think I had bad intentions. Being married to Ian and working at The Dale have been the biggest lessons in unconditional love and forgiveness I have been witness to and been the recipient of.
There are many times I have seen community members come together with a handshake when I thought their friendships were over. There have been times I have been stopped on the street by a community member and forgiven for things I have done. There have been times that Ian has forgiven me when he could have held onto anger. I am trying to lean into these hard lessons, and remember that the grace I receive from my community and my family is not perfect, but it is important. And the grace I receive from God covers all things, all of my imperfections, and all of the lessons I have yet to learn. I am so grateful.
Sometimes, it takes a handshake to come together. Sometimes an offer to go to a movie together. Sometimes saying “I’m sorry.” And sometimes it takes a table destined for the trash – but God’s love is funny that way. He saved our brokenness and I know he uses these things to teach us some lessons too.
I am a community member at The Dale Ministries in Parkdale. In order to do this work and share these stories with you, I must fundraise for my entire salary. That means asking people like you to support me financially in this work! Please consider giving at https://www.thedale.org/donate/ and indicate that the donation is for me. Thank you!