Vision and Reality : Part I

I shoved hard to get the rusted metal door to slide just enough for me to squeeze into the old two story brick building the city of Asheboro was going to tear down and make into parking deck. That was the intent until my daughter, Dustie, presented them a proposal they could not resist. A project of restoration.

Dustie opened their eyes to see what was previously invisible.

As my eyes adjusted I really wanted to turn around and go back outside because everything in sight was ugly & grotesque, but I caught my eye on an old metal chair and sat down. As I was observing the neglected building, I was reminded of a conversation which took place five years ago when my little girl called, “Mom. Dad. Come quickly. I’ve found it. The perfect place. Please hurry. Can’t wait to show it to you. Just what I’ve been looking for.”

When we arrived, my heart sank. The “perfect place” was a dilapidated, ugly brick building with broken windows that needed three sticks of dynamite, immediately (personal opinion). Jumping around like she did when she was five and got the green Schwynn bicycle for her birthday, she beckoned us through the front door that was about to fall off its rusted hinges to see the luxurious inside. Did I say “luxurious?” We couldn’t go much further than the doorway because the place was filled with two inches of yucky water that settled into the moldy walls where the roof had collapsed.

I tried to feel Dustie’s excitement but instead spoke my mind: “Dustie. Listen to me. This can’t be your ‘dream come true,’ cause this place is a disaster. Tell me you aren’t serious?” She paid no attention and just kept describing how she could see the front part filled with customers and how she envisioned people sitting out at the brick patio with little tables and umbrellas and…THERE WASN’T A BRICK PATIO. I stood beside my ecstatic daughter and knew right then this was the place where her vision would become a reality.

And it happened. One year later, The Table opened its doors to an overflowing capacity crowd that has not ceased.

So, sitting amongst the rubble of a new vision, I was overcome with peace in knowing that Dustie sees what no one else can. That’s when the lyrics of her brother’s (Jonathan David) song, “I See”, began ringing in my ear.

I see a mountain, You see a miracle
 I see wasteland, You see a garden
 I see dry bones, You see an army
I see impossible, You see everything, Everything
I see a seed, You see the harvest
I see the water, You see the wine
I see the broken, You see your Body
I see my enemy, You see your footstool…

“That’s it,” I thought.
I see a headache. Dustie sees a place for people to rest.
I see a multitude of problems. Dustie sees a place of future success.
I see debris and ugly. Dustie sees beautiful.
As I was wandering around in the rubble of the dreary place, Dustie approached me and asked with exuberance, “How do you like it daddy? Doesn’t it have incredible possibilities?”
Without answering, I motioned her outside and pointed up into the brilliant blue sky.
“Dustie, do you see the magnificent stars?”
She paused, giving me an incredulous look, wondering if I had lost my mind. But then she began to smile and turned to look into the sky.
“No, Daddy. I can’t see them. But that doesn’t mean they are not there!”
Awed by her faith, I pulled her close and hugged her tightly, giving her a Father’s blessing.
“We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” II Corinthians 4:18

Spencer’s Perspective: Over the years I have been able to witness the creative power the Lord has blessed my Aunt Dustie with. I remember when she first pitched her idea of The Table to me. I wasn't skeptical. I was just curious as to how she was going to pull it off. However, I never doubted her ability to make something beautiful out of nothing and neither did our family. Once we saw that she was serious about this endeavor, everyone jumped on board with support, whether it was tangible or by genuine encouragement. There’s a quote that I love from Jim Valvano, which says, “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” For Dustie, she had complete confidence in knowing that not only did her earthly father support her plans, but her Heavenly Father did as well. I am truly mystified by her gift of being able to envision something beautiful out of that which is broken and deformed.

Coming Soon - Part II: Our vision is about what we are going to do, but God’s vision is about what we are going to become…