It is Sunday and my favourite day of the week. Here I am, relaxing and enjoying some quiet time after the busyness of the past week. I’m sitting on my favourite sofa.

Let me tell you about my favourite sofa. It came to us via St Joseph. Whenever our family needs anything, someone says, “Ask St Joseph!” And he never fails to intercede for us.

Some years ago, we had a very embarrassing sofa. On the surface it looked fine. But lurking under the plump, welcoming cushions was a hungry trap just waiting to swallow an unsuspecting guest. Entertaining was stressful. We couldn’t relax. We’d be waiting for that inevitable moment when our guest would start disappearing, the sofa slowly sucking him inwards. One day I’d had enough. “That sofa has to be replaced!” I shouted. So we all started praying, “Please St Joseph, we need somewhere safe and solid where our friends can sit!”

St Joseph never takes very long. Within a day or two, the phone rang: A friend: “Can you use a lounge suite? It’s an antique.” An antique? Wow! That sounded posh. Yes, please, we’ll have it.

I rang Andy. “St Joseph has answered our prayers. We’re getting a new lounge suite…an antique. It sounds wonderful. It’ll be here when you get home.”

I immediately got to work heaving the old sofa and chairs out to the shed. Their day was over. They had swallowed their last guest.

After lunch, a truck arrived. We could hear it reversing up the drive and we all dashed out eager to see what St Joseph had provided for us.

The driver jumped out of his cab and said, “I could keep on driving, you know. If you want me to take it to the tip, that’s no problem.”

Take my new, antique lounge suite to the tip. I didn’t understand. “What do you mean….?”

“Take a look,” the man advised coming around to the back of his vehicle.

There in the back of the truck was the shabbiest sofa and chairs I had ever seen. Their gold (or was that green?) upholstery was torn in many places revealing another layer of threadbare red fabric. The ruffled trim around the bottom of the sofa was more off than on.

For a moment I was stunned, speechless.

“To the tip?” the man asked, trying to be helpful.

I was inclined to agree but what would I tell my friend? She would notice the absence of the lounge suite next time she visited. And what would I tell Andy? He was expecting to see a new, antique sofa. And the lounge room? I suddenly remembered the empty space we had created that morning. I absolutely refused to get the other sofa back out of the shed. So I said, “No. Unload it. It’ll be fine.”

Later than evening, Andy and I were sitting in the lounge talking over the events of the day.

“I was so excited.”

“It sounded so perfect.”

“I thought St Joseph had come to the rescue again.”

“Yes, sending us not just an ordinary sofa but an antique sofa.”

“Antique!” I laughed and Andy joined in. Everything seemed so funny.

Then suddenly the giggles disappeared. I had noticed something. “You know what?” I remarked. “This is a really comfortable sofa! It mightn’t look very good but it feels wonderful.” I relaxed back into the firm upholstery, secure in the knowledge that none of me was going to do a vanishing act. “This must be the most comfortable sofa we have ever had.”

That was 10 years ago and we still have that lounge suite. It is getting shabbier and shabbier and sometimes I think we really ought to replace it. But I just can’t quite come to the decision to part with it. Maybe one day we can get it reupholstered. Then it would be absolutely perfect.

We learnt a lot from this shabby sofa story. Firstly, things can sometimes seem disappointing on the surface, but if you look closer…there are treasures waiting to be discovered. How many gifts have we not seen because we haven’t looked properly? Secondly, St Joseph always sees to our needs and never lets us down. What did we ask for? A solid sofa, safe for guests. And that is exactly what we got. Next time we shall have to be more specific: “ Please St Joseph, we need a new sofa. It needs to be solid and safe and comfortable...and could you possibly arrange one that looks good too?"


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  1. That is a very timely and thought provoking story..thanks for sharing.. we could all learn something from this..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Leanne, for reading my story and making a comment. Have you any good St Joseph's stories of your own to share?

    ReplyDelete

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