Confessions of a dysfunctional decorator

With apologies to all self-help movements, my name is Mike, and I am a dysfunctional decorator.

When it comes to wall colors, any shade of blue works for me.  Left to my own devices, I would paint all the walls in our house the same shade of blue, both for convenience and because I find blue warm and soothing.  My idea of dressing up a living room is to add a few more bookcases, cut back on floral arrangements, dim the overhead lighting and eliminate wall hangings.  Curtains, insofar as I can tell, serve little purpose other than to gather dust!

Truth be told, I have no feel for office furnishings and decoration either. A desk with a comfortable chair, a few book cases, and a computer station pretty well define my personal needs.  Recognizing that persons might drop by to visit, I like to have a chair or two handy.  Apparently, my mind does not automatically ask, “Where are the lamps, paintings, carpets, window dressings, knick-knacks, and colors need to make an office feel warm and welcoming?”

Like I said, my name is Mike, and I am a dysfunctional decorator.

Fortunately, I’m learning (albeit slowly) to call for help!  My spouse, a few friends, some willing church members—all are now at work, seeking to teach me new ways of “seeing.”  When that fails, they pitch in to use their decorating gifts and skills so as to make up for my weaknesses.    By the time they’re finished, both my home and office will have been “warmed” several degrees.

And it’s a good thing.

Come to think of it, that’s how spiritual formation works as well.  None of us, me included, can discern or manage our weaknesses alone.  We need others to help us.  In some cases, they will be able to assist us to develop new insights and skills.  Sometime, though, we may be beyond full repair.  In such cases, our friends may supply what we need.  Perhaps we will do the same for them under other circumstances.

Apparently, it takes a village to overcome my decorating dysfunction.  Turns out, that’s ok.  God provides such friends.  Our role is to accept our need, welcome them to our space, and work with them.

Mike Smith

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About the Author
Mike Smith serves as Senior Pastor of Central Baptist Church of Fountain City, Knoxville, Tenn. He is co-author of "Mount and Mountain: A Reverend and a Rabbi Talk About the Ten Commandments."

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  • Grace

    FYI: “Dim the overhead lighting” actually means, “Turn off all the lights you can get away with.”