The son John, (not his real name), received one of the dressers. With the help of a friend we took it into his bare room that had a bed, a few toys, and piles of clothes on the floor. He directed us where to put it and was happy to have something for his clothes.
Again, my answer was "No, sorry." David and I showed him how to pull out the right side, put his fingers under the left, and then pull the drawer out all the way.
We retuned the next week with a few more items and I had a knob. It didn't match, not even close. I went to screw it on only to be frustrated by the fact that the hole was too big for the screw head-I would tighten the knob, but it would pull the screw through and fall out. I needed a washer for the screw, but did not have one.
As he looked on his floor that had matchbox cars and more toys scattered all around, I was afraid there was no way he would find it. I looked under his bed and noticed that his bed frame, instead of being held in place by wood planks, was supported by a pair of aluminum crutches.
But after a few minutes, amazingly enough the screw was found and I was finally able to put the misfit knob into place. "Thanks", said John, grateful that the middle drawer would now pull out with relative ease.
As I thought about John and his drawer during the past two weeks I struggled with what I should do. Does John deserve more than a used dresser with a mismatched knob?
Dear reader, if you’re still with me, I am a Christian, I have been given eternal life and infinite blessings through Christ’s death on the the cross for me. I was far poorer spiritually than John and his family are physically. I have been redeemed and renewed.
I leave them, and drive home to my nice house with relatively new furniture and all the comforts. My knobs match. My drawers pull out with ease. My bed is properly supported.
In his book Generous Justice, Tim Keller, commenting on Deuteronomy 15:4-5 writes:
The poor man was not to be given merely a token "handout". Rather, credit and help were to be extended until he was completely out of poverty. The generosity extended to the poor could not be cut off until the poor person's need was gone and until he reached a level of self-sufficiency.
I write this not to boast, or to instill guilt. I realize I can never match the gift I have been given. But, it's worth the struggle to ponder these things. I need to reflect on my life, my time, and my wallet. I do know the gift and the blessings I have received need to be shared more.
Dear Lord, I am a broken dresser with a missing knob, be merciful to me.