I had this stone topped antique table that weighed about 300 pounds that I absolutely loved. I bought it sight unseen from an antique dealer in Eastern Oregon. A friend of mine knew I was looking for an island table for my kitchen at my farm, and when she saw it, she called me right away.
The owner of the shop told me it was an old print set table for a local paper, back in the day. There was a twin to the table, but no others like it, and to this day I don’t know why I didn’t buy both of them.
Of course everyone who has helped me move that table from house to house could tell you why. There was a two-inch solid marble stone that slid into the three-sided wooden top.
And it weighed a ton!
Well, not really a ton, but you get my meaning. It took at least two strong men to move just the top of that table, and they were usually cursing me through the entire move.
But that thing had so much character. I thought it was black when I first got it home, but on closer inspection, realized it was just covered in ink. I used oven cleaner to get the stone clean, and started scrubbing the old wood.
Layer after layer of dark sticky ink came off to reveal a lovely dark walnut color. After several layers of ink were wiped away from the top, a beautiful old pitted stone presented itself.
It was a work of art.
And I wasn’t about to let this artwork go, even though I was moving from my farm into town into a tiny little house. There was no room for it inside, so I stored it in the garage. My car could sit outside for all I cared.
That table went from house to house, sometimes occupying a place of honor inside, sometimes living in the garage patiently waiting for it’s next home.
When I bought my dream house in 2006, it finally found its perfect spot right in the center of the kitchen. I found two counter stools that fit perfectly and it was the showcase of the house. Well, in my mind anyway.
One evening I was sitting at that table with Tom having a glass of wine and talking, as we often did. We had been dating for several months at that time, and things were going well.
I mentioned the “sandals” that were found in Southern Oregon and how they had been dated to be over 14,000 years old. I have always been fascinated by archeology and usually kept up on the latest findings. Everyone was talking about these sandals, because another discovery had been unearthed in the same area, confirming the age of the sandals.
Tom laughed and said, “You know there is no way they can be that old, right?” I looked at him, puzzled and asked why.
He told me that the earth is 5,000 years old.
At that point I almost fell off my stool. I honestly thought he was kidding. He flashed me his beautiful smile and with the utmost confidence told me that according to biblical teaching, the earth was about 5,000 years old.
I was dumbfounded for just a second and then asked, “What about Lucy?” He had no idea what I was talking about. Then I explained that “Lucy” was the oldest human remains found and her bones were estimated to be over 3 million years old.
Tom threw his head back and gave me his robust laugh.
And when he stopped, he told me that was all non-sense and we do not have the technology to do carbon dating, and even if we did, it wasn’t an exact science, and that God created the earth 5,000 years ago.
And he not only meant every word, but also believed it to the core of his existence.
There was a moment of awkwardness between us then. Without coming right out and saying the words, he let me know if I didn’t believe the same; it was going to be an issue between us.
I was a little shaken that night. It was as if a little layer had been removed; only what I saw beneath wasn’t a work of art.