Once upon a time [oh, just a couple days ago], I wrote a blog about a little black desk. A dreamy little number that I’d seen and fallen hopelessly, irreversibly in love with, but ALAS could never be mine because it was eleventy billion dollars.
That day, my perfectly-lovely-in-every-way dearest friend from growing up in Ukraine commented on a link to the story, saying “Ashley. I want you to have that desk. You need to buy that thing for yourself, and I would chip in a few dollars to help you! I’m sure other friends would too!”.
I thought it was precious. Precious and outlandish and heart-warming–…and I didn’t give it a second thought. I didn’t give it a second thought because the LBD that I’d fallen in love with was far too extravagant a purchase for me to even consider it this side of forty. Or a hundred and twelve. Owning it was as tangible to me as owning my own, personal submarine.
I logged on to facebook later that day and to my utter astonishment-…well, THIS:
To my chagrin, my sweet friend Colin had started an online campaign where people could donate money to buy my frivolous little LBD. His description read as follows:
We all love Ashley. If you can’t remember why, start by reading here:
And then recall that her ability with words is amazing. I, on the other hand, do not get along with words. So, the only way to thank her is to buy her the little black desk so that I can continue to read the words in a way that make me happy.
I would pay $10 for a book that is trash compared to Ashley’s writing. So, I figure, the least I could do is contribute $20 to a desk that will make her writing at least 3x as amazing.
When we reach our goal of 689.89 (including shipping and taxes!), we will tell Ethan Allen to “SHIP THAT DESK”!
If Ashley says “This is absurd,” you know this is a good cause. Nothing is better than things that you don’t think you will ever get. So give a bunch of money to something awesome. Get her this desk!
P.S. Kellan has promised to give free room and board and coffee to any friends who contribute and then promptly visit them.
I paused to look up aneurysm in my medical dictionary, confident that I’d just experienced one. What!? I felt strangely like the first and last time that I tried a deep fried twinkie at the North Carolina State Fair-a sort of strange mix of wonderful and what-have-I-done. I had never been so mortified and felt so loved all at the same time! The absurd, precious gesture all by itself was what stole my breath away—and truly, it never occurred to me that it would actually work. I mean, sweet idea, but ain’t nobody got time for that!
Except, it seems that people did, in fact, have time for that. A lot of people. People that love me and love Kellan and care about hard years and what and if I write. From friends that danced with me at my wedding two months ago to friends from elementary school in Ukraine that I haven’t seen since I was twelve. My sixth grade teacher. My in-laws. My parents. My Aunt and Uncle. Friends living across the country and across the world. My sweet husband. People that should have spent that money on the houses and kids they’re saving for or the missionaries they give to or any number of things that really matter-but chose to spend it on me instead. Grateful tears spring to my eyes just thinking about them all.
Five days later, I was the baffled, rather speechless owner of an eleventy-billion dollar desk that never would have been mine any other way. Y’all. I feel so very, undeservedly, extravagantly loved. That silly piece of furniture is infinitely more special than it ever could have been had I ever defied reason and ordered it myself–and not because I love it. [Though I believe that my original blog leaves little room for discussion on that matter.] It’s special because I love the people that gave it to me. And for the rest of my life, every time that I sit down to write at my LBD, I will think about the way that those sweet people extravagantly, irrationally loved me. That eleventy-billion dollar little black desk points me to a God that sees me. A God that sees me in the midst of a world wracked by cancer and grief and a thousand other real problems, …and somehow, the trivial little things that matter to me still matter to him. God sees me. And God cares about my silly, little black desk.
I am indescribably grateful to those of you that cared, too. Thank you for reminding me that he sees.