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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Table

A man walked into The World store and spotted a dirty old oak table in the corner of the room.  At the sight of it, he burst into tears.

A sales clerk, noticing his countenance, approached him and asked if he was okay.

Trying hard to form a full sentence, he finally had enough composure to mutter, "This table....this table.  I'd like to purchase this beautiful table."

Looking at the battered table, the confused clerk looked back at the man.  "This beat up old thing?  Why would you want this god-awful thing?  Its legs are weak, the finish is gone, and to tell you honestly, it's been mistreated by our employees.  You see, it's not for sale.  It belongs to the owner of the World.  We use it as a junk table to throw our trash on.  Frankly, it's not good for anything else."

"I'm willing to pay." the man insisted. "Pay much.  In fact, no price is too high."

"Sir, I don't understand.  We have so many other beautiful tables here.  Plenty to chose from.  Why would you care so much for such rubbish?"

The man took a deep breath and a hard swallow.  Squatting down next to the table, he caressed the surface of it with his strong hands.

"I'm a Carpenter." the man began. "Years ago, my Father grew a single tree in the center of our property with the intent of creating something beautiful with it.  When the time came, he took the tree and we made the most stunning piece of furniture.  I had the privilege of being a part of crafting it.   But, the table was stolen.  The tragedy left my Father and I heartbroken and determined to find it and do whatever we needed to do to get it back -- no matter what the cost."

With tears streaming down his face, the man said, "Can I show you something?"

"Of course." the clerk responded, moved by his emotional story.

The man stood up and turned the table on its side. 

"Here!" the man said, as he placed his fingers over a small carved marking.  "These are my initials.  This is the work of art my Father and I have been searching for!  This table belongs to me!"

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