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  • Writer's pictureLou Fister

White Wicker

Updated: Jan 27

When I was younger me, I did a lot of drawing and painting. I like bright colors, red is my favorite and when someone would compliment my work I would say "I can use red but God created red". It was my way of accepting a compliment but giving God the credit. I eventually chose a career in graphic design and it's been a long time since I did any fine art.  

In my last house I had the color red everywhere. I left that house in 2015 when my family fell apart. In my new house, there was no red. My favorite color had become a reminder of pain and loss. I used other bright colors - but no red. 

About a year ago I started feeling the desire to paint. I have had a bazillion false starts in the last year, but no real progress. I have a list of excuses and a mountain of fears. The enemy has used the wreck of my family as a platform to undermine my confidence in a myriad of areas - even art. I know that in Christ all those things the enemy says are trash and I am learning to fight better and better. And over the last 9 months I have even begun to add red accents to my home décor. 

Last week I had a particularly difficult week after some big disappointments with family. I battle things like that in prayer. I go outside and walk around my flower beds. There I see God at work and am reminded of how much He cares for me. (Matthew 6:28-34)  My gardens are the physical place in my life where I meet Him and get right. (there is so much more to my flower stories but we have to save that for another time. ) 

By the time I came in from the garden on Saturday morning I was high. My time with Jesus had been so rich that while it did not remove the pain of the previous week,  it covered it and I was ok. It's hard to explain. I stood in my living room in front of the picture window and once again felt that desire to paint. I was feeling all the anticipation and all the fears at the same time. My voice in my head argued with itself; “You have to do this” - “no, you don't have any space”… “Just paint whatever comes out of you” - “no it'll probably be awful”… and so on. If I could just feel the way I do when I'm standing near those flowers. I heard myself say; "If I could just bring the outside inside". That phrase had a supernatural echo to it and I started to imagine  removing my upholstered furniture, that I had bought with my family in mind, and putting patio furniture in my living room. I was fully immersed in what I know now was a Holy Spirit inspired day dream when I declared, "I'm gonna put white wicker furniture in my living room". It would take up less space , it would be bright. The idea was great fun for a minute until I remembered that buying new furniture was definitely not in my budget. So I dismissed the notion, went outside, and got on the tractor to cut the grass. 

Later that day I went to the auction my church was hosting for the youth mission trip. I dropped off some things I had to donate and went to find my group of people. And there… right outside the doors was a full set of white wicker furniture - beautiful…still in bubble wrap. The moment seemed to happen in slow motion and I knew that some story was about to unfold. There are no coincidences in my life. However, I had no vision for what was really coming. 

I had decided that I could bid $100 on the furniture, but then found out that the opening bid needed to be $500. I didn't want to be insulting so I of course did not offer my little bid. By the end of the evening no one had bid on the furniture. As I was leaving I fumbled through telling Monique that I was interested in the furniture  but could not come anywhere close to the $500 mark. I was afraid I sounded stupid and I walked home wondering if I had made a fool of myself.  I went back to cutting the grass. 

About 20 minutes later Monique called. She said the furniture was mine if I still wanted it. I was afraid she had misunderstood and maybe thought I had the $500 minimum bid. Again I fumbled with my words trying to explain. She said that it was being given to me and they would deliver it in a few minutes if I wanted it. I could not find words. It was like God took me seriously when I had stammered just 12 hours earlier that I was going to put white wicker furniture in the living room. Hmmm, or maybe He had given me those words to begin with because He knew what He was going to do. Either way, I felt Him wink at me in that moment and I was undone. 

The furniture arrived and I quickly decided that I had to make space. My couch and recliner were in excellent condition because I don't sit in them, I live alone, and the family I bought them for rarely visit. So I took pictures and decided to list them online. I could not decide on a price. If I priced it too low I would devalue it. It was like new but I didn't want it price it too high and have to live with 2 sets of furniture in my living room. 600? No… $250? No… $350?... Finally I decided on an even $400 and hit the publish button before I could change my mind. Two minutes later the furniture was sold. A gal I know bought it and I was glad it was going to be taken care of.  Her and her husband came the next day and picked it up. She handed me $400 cash, loaded it up, and drove away. I was still processing the whole thing. I do this quietly and with the help of some time. So I just stuck the money in my pocket and got back on the tractor to finish cutting the grass. 

I was trying to get situated in the tractor seat but the money in my pocket was uncomfortable. That's when I realized…"whoa, I have $400"! And I started deciding how I was going to spend it. Then like a ton of wicker bricks it hit me; You have $400 and you were willing to bid $100 on that furniture - that's $500 and that's the minimum bid. - and I realized that $400 was not mine. I have mixed feelings about that realization. LOL. Before I could change my mind I messaged Monique and told her that I had the minimum bid for the furniture and that I would explain later if she wanted to hear the story . 

The furniture fits in my living room perfectly. The picture window is open, there is room for my easel and one of the wicker pieces is actually a plant stand, although I already have half of it full of paint brushes. The outside has truly come to the inside. I have much to say about how I see God at work in this story, there is just not time to tell it all, but I will say two things. I am undone by the knowledge that God works this hard in the life of older me. I love thinking about my artistic future with Him. He has resurrected something old in me to make it new.  Isn't that just like Him.?!!! And, once again He has done something wild in the mundane. (I have so many of those stories) What I mean by that is there is no eternal value to that furniture - yet He really showed off making that all happen. How much more must He be willing to do in the lives of the people I pray for while I am standing in front of those flowers everyday. Those lives are eternal and stories like this make me confident that He is chasing them. (I hope they trip)

So… I am going to paint… I don't know what and it will probably be a mess. But I am going to paint with Jesus and for Jesus. Oh… and by the way the cushions on the white wicker furniture ARE RED.

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