I said good bye to an old friend the other day. We have been together for over twenty-two years. He was my old green Steelcase Executive desk. It was a huge boat of a thing. Strong enough to survive a nuclear blast. The desk moved with me from Xenia, Ohio to Celina, Ohio to Niles, Michigan to Jackson, Michigan to Knox County, Ohio to Fremont. But the other day I realized it was time to part company. My two strong sons neither of whom had been born when I got the desk helped me hoist the desk into the truck. I stood and watched it until it was out of sight and remembered back.
Over twenty years ago I had been called to my first church after my marriage to Lois and I needed a nice desk. I was young so I would need something substantial and serious and pastoral.
At the time we lived in Cedarville, Ohio and I worked for Black’s Furniture in Xenia. When I found the desk I asked them to hold it for me and paid on it for weeks. When my final week of work came before leaving to assume the pastorate, I made my final payment. On my last day of work the owner’s wife, Mrs. Black and her sister the wife a fellow salesman Phil Bartram paid for the desk and gave me my money back.
The desk served me well. It was hard to part with it. It represented an act of encouragement and kindness by two good, Christian ladies trying to help a young man get started in the ministry. That memory will always warm my heart.
The whole thing got me to thinking and I got in touch with Mr. Bartram. Mr. and Mrs. Bartram are in their eighties now. Mrs. Black is with the Lord. I thanked the Bartrams for their gift and let them know that I had put it to good use.
Dr. George Sweeting, past president of Moody Bible Institute once wrote; “Even a cup of cold water given in Jesus’ name will one day break on the shores of eternity.”