Jason is a great husband. And after seventeen years of marriage we see eye to eye on most things. This does not apply to decorative pillows. Our living room and bedroom are adorned with pillows. I see great purpose in them. Jason despises them saying they’re not comfortable. I think they bring color and beauty to the room. Jason argues that they’re in the way; that they have no purpose. When he wants to sit on the couch or go to bed, he throws them with disdain.
I despise Kristi’s decorative pillows. They serve no purpose but to impede my comfort while reclining on my own couch. When I am tired enough to try to use one as a pillow, I’m reminded how uncomfortable they are. The fabric is either rough, or crackly, or the pillow is an odd shape. They frustrate me.
Some decorative pillows are just dangerous. I’ve seen pillows covered with pheasant feathers. Feathers are supposed to be inside the pillow, not on it. You can lay your head down to rest and come up with a quill stuck in your ear!
They come with sequins, too. Can you imagine the comfort that comes from laying your cheek down on a bed of sequins!
Most have this little zipper whose pull tab always seems to be poking out. You can’t have a pillow fight with zipper tabs sticking out everywhere.
You can’t have a pillow fight at all with these decorative pillows!
I don’t want to fight about pillows. I don’t even want to fight with pillows. But if we were fighting, I would want to be able to have a pillow fight!
But I argue that beauty is not always comfortable.
Comfortable is not always good. Jason picked out the couches. People have commented on how difficult it is to get up once having sunk into the thick cushions. And though I want our guests and Jason to be comfortable I suspect that if the pillows weren't there, Jason might not ever get up.
Comfort invites you to stay. Beauty invites you to go. After sitting within the comfort of the couches, there is a silent urging from the pillows to move along in renewed strength; that is unless you've chunked them onto the floor.
As a Christian I often get comfortable in my walk, and I like it. I will remove any obstacle that stands between me and my comfort. I think of times that I have not wanted to approach people in pain. Those who have faced tragedy. It can be uncomfortable not knowing what to say.
I remember anxiously approaching one lady who had lost her four year old son. Without words I held her hand and we cried together in a crowd of people. That beauty has stayed with me.
There are other times I know I should invite someone to church or share what God has done in my life, but it can be awkward—similar to laying your head on a pillow with pheasant feathers. It's easiest to cast those things which bring discomfort aside. Choosing not to deal with those things that make us uncomfortable often cause us to miss out on beauty intended.
I remember a few times where I was faithful to have that awkward conversation with someone upon the prompting of the spirit. There are times I have walked into a hospital room or a funeral home anxious and uncomfortable but willing. It is in those times that God displays his beauty. It is in abandoning comfort that beauty soothes my soul. And as comfort from a couch quickly evaporates when my feet hit the floor, beauty often remains in my sight traveling down to the depths of my heart. Beauty is worth it.
In spite of hating her decorative pillows, this is one area that I have come to have a deep appreciation for Kristi. Can you imagine what the house would look like if the decorating were up to me?
Let me draw you a mental picture: One big cushy couch in the middle of the room. One 80” TV on the wall. One large wire spool picked up from the side of the road to set my feet on and to hold my bag of potato chips. No art. No decorations. No pillows. No Beauty.
I’m getting sad just thinking about it. I think I can put up with a few snazzy pillows
This is just one area where we have found compromise. There is an artfulness to compromise in relationships. Neither one of us has to give up our preferences. I still have my cushy couch. She has her pretty pillows. The house has beauty and functionality.
“And the two shall become one flesh.”
Life is full of that delicate balance between comfort and aesthetics. Between conviction and convenience. Between action and hesitation.
One of the keys to an artful life is finding that compromise, that balance, between what we know and what we feel. Finding that place of agreement with what we want and what we need. Arriving at the spot where form and function meet.
Do you find compromise easy or difficulty?
How do you arrive at that Just Right spot in your decisions?
Are you more for functionality or style?
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