Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Wednesday Pop - vol. 8 . . . it's about a bench

It's good to be back with The Wednesday Pop!

I want to tell you about a bench . . . not just any bench, but a bench that sits outside of a house in Atlanta.  It's at a bus stop, actually.  It's a bus stop bench, and it gets used over and over again each day.

The folks who sit on that bench, as they wait for the bus before their long days or after them, have no idea why the bench is there.  They just know that it provides a respite in a sometimes cold world and that it is there for the sitting.

I love the story of the bench.  It tells a grand story of why my Dad is so special.

Before I tell you all about the bench, you must know that I am blessed with an amazing father-in-law, too.  No one is more fortunate than me in the in law department.   My father-in-law, Grandaddy, is (among many other things) a very talented woodworker.  Some time I'll tell you about the fun we have in his barn and about some of the magic he has created with wood.  He's not just genius at wood-working, but he's also generous.  Fine crafted wood pieces, made by him, are all over the place; gifts of him to many family members and friends and friends of friends.  He has made many folks happy with his sweet gifts.

My family is no exception.  They have many times been the recipients of Grandaddy's wooden treasures, and his handiwork graces their porches and backyards.

A few years ago, my Dad (Pop) made a request.  He isn't quick to ask for things, so I took notice.  He asked Grandaddy if he would build a bench that he could put in front of his house at the bus stop.  Of course, Grandaddy obliged and the dark brown bench was constructed.  My interest was piqued.

Dad got the bench and made plans to secure it with cement on the other side of the sidewalk in front of his house.  (I must admit that one of the parts of this story I like best is that he didn't ask if it was okay - so uncharacteristic of him!)  He marched to the street side, armed with his new bench and a bag of Quickcrete and set about attaching the sidewalk and the bench to each other for eternity.  Done.

A zillion souls pass that bench every day, and I imagine that they never wonder about the bench.  Many people sit on the bench each day.  They might be walking along and perch there for a short rest or they might be anxiously waiting for a ride to the next part of their day.  Either way, the bench is part of their day.  The bench is there to help.  The bench is always there, always waiting quietly to hold them up when the way gets hard.

When I see the bench, I marvel at what a perfect symbol it is of my Dad.  It illustrates how he works.  He saw a need.  He figured out a way he could help.  He made it work.  He made sure that the help would be there, always, whenever someone (anyone) needed it.  He quietly went about making a difference without anyone knowing it was done.  That's how he works.

The bench is there, as I write this.  I wonder who sits upon it now.  I wonder what their day is like or what they are worried about or if they have smiled much today.  I don't know any of that.

I do know that the gift of that bench is constant and that it represents the love of two quiet men, who silently go about making their world a better place.

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