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Love seat

August 14, 2013
My wife has wanted Adirondack chairs for as long as I can remember, but we could never afford the fancy wooden ones. When I spotted a couple of cheap plastic chairs on sale at Home Depot last week I decided to surprise her. I couldn't wait to see the look on her face.

I sneaked them into the yard, went in the house and dragged her out back for the big reveal. It was like those car commercials you see around Christmas where the guy leads his wife into the driveway and unveils the new Lexus with a big, red bow on it. She usually gasps, screams, hugs him, that sort of thing. I didn't have a red bow for the chairs but thought it would go down pretty much the same way.

"Aw, that's sweet," she said, but she said it like a mom whose kids just served her burnt toast for Mother's Day. "I really appreciate it."

I could tell a "but" was coming.

"But … I just don't think brown is going to work back there," she explained.

How could brown not work? We had dirt, mulch and a wooden play-set. Plenty of brown.

"Well, OK," I said. "They have other colors."

This was the dumbest thing I could have said. The next thing I knew I ended up at Home Depot two more times exchanging my brown chairs for pear green, then teal. Neither worked. It looked like my Lexus moment was going to take more work than I'd thought.

Eventually, I talked her into just going back to brown. Yes, the same brown I'd bought her in the first place.

I couldn't face the people at my local Home Depot again so I decided to make this last exchange at a store across town. Big mistake. When I got there, I saw all the familiar chairs lined up out front, along with a new color — brick red.

Now, I had a decision to make. Do I keep my life simple and go brown or do I call her? Did I really want to end up in the returns line again? She'd never have to know red existed. No one would ever have to know. Except, of course, me.

Love won out. I called. She picked red. I brought them home. I got my Lexus moment at last!

At times like these, I remind myself that my wife's not picky. She just has good taste. How someone that discerning ended up choosing me I'll never know.

I think the same thing sometimes about God. His standards are impossibly high. The Bible calls this holiness. When it comes to moral character, God is as picky as it gets. After all, He's perfect.

And, yet, this perfect God chooses me. He chooses you. He chooses anyone and everyone. Doesn't matter where you've been or what you've done.

Why would such a picky God pick someone like me? Because we all do crazy things for love. Just ask my friends at Home Depot. They'll tell you that, when it comes to love, all bets are off.

Jason Byerly, a 1990 graduate of Crawford County Junior-Senior High School, is the children's pastor at Southland Christian Church near Lexington, Ky. He and his wife have two daughters. For more, visit www.jasonbyerly.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/jasondbyerly.

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