Thoughts, Ideas and Inspiration by Melissa Earley

Sometimes, God answers prayer with furniture

I love my new desk. I believe it’s an answer to prayer. I don’t normally think God cares about my furniture, but this desk is absolutely perfectamundo.

When I started looking for a desk, I knew I didn’t want a brand new, assembly required desk from an office store. That would be too sleek, too new, and too inexperienced. I needed a desk that had seen some stuff; that understood that life is messily complicated, that people don’t fit into neat categories, and few things we do are all good or all bad. At a local consignment store, I ran my finger along the half-moon, leather topped desk with delicately curved legs. I imagined writing thank you notes on fine linen paper with a fountain pen. But I knew the desk would shudder when I slammed down a book and clutch its pearls any time I uttered an dirty word. I needed a desk that could handle real world honesty. 

On Facebook Marketplace I found a used secretary desk from the 1940’s that was pretty beat up, but only $25. Beggars can’t be choosers and I messaged my interest. The desk was already spoken for so I kept looking. Scrolling through images of contemporary office sets and antique roll tops, I found my desk – another1940’s oak secretary desk that was beautifully refinished and free!! And it was mine if I was the first one to pick it up. A flurry of texts revealed that my friend Mike was happy to help and already in the town where the desk was. A few hours later, Mike and his wife Laurie showed up and helped me move the desk into my office. 

It’s perfect. There’s plenty of room for the stacks of books and notes for writing projects I can’t seem to finish and sermons I have to finish. The drawers slide effortlessly and have handy dividers made for my way of organizing. There’s even an ingenious typewriter cabinet with a spring activated shelf, perfect to hide away my laptop. 

My prayer for a new desk was a jumble of prayers for my writing life. And God said yes. It’s almost fifteen square feet of surface area tells me I will figure out how to find the balance between my pastoral role and my creative self. Its sturdiness helps me take my writing life seriously, and its history nods encourages me to tell my stories my way. 

But having a good desk makes me a writer no more than a basement full of exercise equipment makes one an athlete. To be a writer, I have to write. In gracing me with this desk, I believe God is granting me permission, no, more than that, trusting me to search for and find my writing life.


  1. Darrow Woods

    Dear Melissa; I love this piece, and connect with it on a tactile level. I have spent two days this weekend re-organizing my basement work space- which I use both for church work, and novel writing. I am pleased such a wonderful, expansive desk has found its way to you. The story of your friends being in the right place and time speaks to how even in the most solitary effort of writing, we are not actually alone, and could not function if we were. Peace, Darrow

    • admin

      Thanks for that insight, Darrow. Yes, writing does feel awfully alone so much of the time. It’s good to know there is a whole community of folks surrounding us.

  2. Ed. Roob

    Really enjoyed this.
    Just caught up with previous posts (either I missed them or they missed me).
    Thought your “Burnt Trees and Butterflies ” piece really showcased your abilities as an author.
    Hope you are well and remember to: “Always walk on the sunny side of the street”
    ———unless it gets too hot——-
    Then walk in the shade.
    Ed. Roob

    burnt Trees and Buttwerflies

    • admin

      Thanks so much, Ed. I’m definitely looking for the sunny side of the street this time of year!

  3. Carole

    Dear Melissa,
    Good things come to those who wait–and search. Your posts speak to real life and I so enjoy them.
    Adding a vintage fountain pen to your writing mix is something I’m willing to bet you would find joyful as well. There’s something very visceral and organic about letting your creativity flow through the tip of a fountain pen. –Rather like a infusion of life blood in blue ink.

    • admin

      thanks, Carole. I’ll have to keep an eye out for a fountain pen. “infusion of life blood in blue ink” — well said!

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