How a tablecloth saved my life…

image by Emily

Not too long ago, I was severely depressed. Life had handed me more lemons than I could make lemonade out of, and I was falling apart at the seams. It was almost more than I could handle to put clothes on in the morning, or brush my hair. One of my dearest friends (hi, Jen!) came to visit. The house was a disaster. Dishes piled high in the sink. Toys cluttering the floor. My boys still in pajamas (at 4pm). Myself still in pajamas. I could feel how sorry she was for me by looking at her face as she walked through my house. Quietly, she walked into my kitchen, cleared a space on one of the chairs, and sat down.

“Do you know what you need?” Not a lecture, I thought to myself. “You need a tablecloth. You need to have beautiful things around you, and if you put a tablecloth on the table, it will give you something beautiful to look at. Your soul needs to see beauty.”

I bought a tablecloth. A deep purple one (no surprise to anyone who has seen my hair or glasses.) And slowly, the dishes disappeared, the toys started getting put away, clothes started being worn. Deep inside, I could feel my heart take a deep breath, and scream: “YES! I need beauty!!”

Many years ago, (10, if you want to be exact), I was torn because I was expected to attend the women’s Bible study at my church, but it was at the same time as the show, So You Think You Can Dance. Bewailing my fate to my mother about how I needed to be at Bible study, but wanted to be home watching the show, my mom asked why I liked SYTYCD so much. “It’s because part of me feels alive when I watch it,” I told her. My mom promptly demanded that I stop going to Bible study and watch SYTYCD instead. “God can speak to you more if you feel alive, than if you are doing something because you think you “have” to.”

As humans, we need beauty. It makes us “alive”. Beauty may mean something different to everyone. It could be a sunset. A perfectly cooked meal. A clever puzzle. A car. A sports game. A… You get the idea. Fill in the blank. You know you have found something beautiful, when your soul inside feels like it might crack open inside you, and you can suddenly breath deeper than you thought you could. You come alive.

Never underestimate the power of beauty. It can save your life. It can make you alive.

Pandora: I really can’t think of anything to add to this. It’s perfect!


2 thoughts on “How a tablecloth saved my life…

  1. Emily, I enjoyed your post and I too can relate. There has been more than a few times in my life that I’ve become disenchanted with life. I don’t think there is anything magical about being a believer. We all have our needs. Whenever I find myself slipping into this mode, I remind myself of a beautiful thought that I once read in a book. The author said ” it’s hard to see the beautiful rose on the table because of the sock in the middle of the floor”. My interpretation of this was to take time out to focus on not just our “have to’s” but also things that inspire us and make us “feel” beautiful. I believe Jesus would agree!


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