It wasn’t because we are a church, really, but because five days out of seven they use part of our parking lot. And they have meetings in our building sometimes. And we don’t charge. And so the management gave us some furniture.
It wasn’t management, however, that brought the furniture across the parking lot. It was three of the people who made the furniture, three of the people who crafted the sofas and chairs.
They carried it in like they cared, like they were proud of what they had made. They looked around, as if they wanted to be sure this would be a good home.
They looked at the furniture already in the room, the furniture being replaced. And then they began to tell us that we could replace the covers on that as well. “Recovery,” one of them said. “It can all be reused.” It says that on the website, in the promotional material…but he really believed it. “1988,” another one said, having turned the chair upside down. “That was some of the first of that kind.” She was pleased that it had lasted well.
They laughed with us, helped us see what we could do with the old stuff, talked about how to treat the new stuff.
For these workers from Wieland, this wasn’t a commodity, this was their life. They had poured themselves into this furniture. They cared about how it would be used, how it would add value to someone else’s life.
They loved the work of their hands. It mattered.
I was humbled that day. And challenged. To care that much.
Jon Swanson is your customer, presenting every day perspectives in a new way. He was a regular contributor to the Great Big Small Business Show podcast, as the Entrepreneurial Chicken. Jon is the author of the best small business post ever.
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Jon has been a regular reader and occasional contributor around here since 2006. Jon works as a pastor, but he understands business better than many so-called business people. He gets that it is about people, relationships, service, and yes, even love.