This Chair is For You

Part of 4 of in
By Heidi Kwon with Jessica Kim
Art by Nathalie Llemos
Apr 01, 2016 | min read
Part of 42: Hands On
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THE SWEETHEART TABLE is fashioned just the way it was envisioned and the altar is made in eager expectation. Each carefully arranged table setting saves a place for one. Like the air around freshly fallen snow, it's quiet. Sound and time seem to tiptoe around each intentionally placed centerpiece as the room anticipates being filled with laughter and festivity. Before the bride enters, Jessica counts every chair to ensure each guest is accounted for.

She takes a last look at the transformed venue as friends and family begin to trickle in. The room begins to blossom just as she imagined it would. The space Jessica orchestrates holds the framework to reunite old friends, instill hope for budding relationships, refresh seasoned marriages, and reflect a glimmer of heaven.

While rearranging disheveled flowers and straightening tablecloths, she makes the rounds to count the chairs one final time. It's a simple detail, but crucial: Whether it is for 60 or 350 people, not one is overlooked or forgotten.

Whether it is for 60 or 350 people, not one is overlooked or forgotten.

She prepares each seat just as consciously as the bride's.

California creative Jessica Kim wears many hats: chiefly as an entrepreneur and an event coordinator. Despite their differences, the two vocations allow her to utilize her creative disposition and organizational strength while kindling her heart of service. Specifically as an event coordinator, she creates the space for others to share their lives and dwell with one another in a garden, within a room, at a table.

This Chair is For You

"When I see a blank canvas of a venue, I start to envision the purpose of the event and the people who will participate in this occasion, and what they will experience when they are in this specific place," Jessica says. "I begin to see faces and human bodies fill the space, expressing various emotions  —  happiness, laughter, tears of joy, or heart-wrenching moments."

"I begin to see faces and human bodies fill the space, expressing various emotions  —  happiness, laughter, tears of joy, or heart-wrenching moments."

Through her craft, she creates a space in which individual journeys can become a collective one.

It takes many months, late nights, hours of setup, and meticulous planning to bring this blank canvas to life. And God is in the details. When the catering has found its rhythm, the band knows where to set up, the vendors make it safely through the rain, and the newlyweds are glowing, Jessica finds her place on the wall to watch as people celebrate one of God's most beautiful designs unfold through relationship.

Private moments inspire her as she observes people responding to the artistry of the room, the closeness of friends, and the joy of covenant. These are the moments that give us a glimpse of God's intention for us.

"God created the heavens and earth for man," Jessica says. "He spent five whole days creating a beautiful foundation and on the sixth day, He created us to enjoy all of His work. I think it's amazing that the God of all creation, in all His power and might, took the time to plan out every little detail so that we could live and dwell in His goodness."

This Chair is For You

As a maker by trade and a daughter by name, Jessica can resonate with a Creator who cherishes His handiwork and what it means to be loved by Him through it. She is able to feel the Father's joy working in and through our lives in the way she works tirelessly behind-the-scenes for the sake and joy of the other, or delights in the small trinkets guests might notice, but for a moment. And just as Jesus goes ahead to prepare a place for us, so does Jessica prepare a seat for each individual by name. Each person is worth the time and intention required when planning for the celebration of covenant.

Each person is worth the time and intention required when planning for the celebration of covenant.

After the couple has made their grand exit and the guests begin to turn in for the night, Jessica begins the breakdown. The once-adorned walls become bare again, the tabletops are cleared, and the altar put away. The vendors have packed their things and gone, the music has faded, and all that's left are the hushed voices of servers.

The once-vibrant painting is returned to a blank slate. Jessica takes a lingering look at the modest room, and smiles to herself, knowing that life was made here and new stories have carved a home in the memory of loved ones. God willing, it will be filled again.

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Heidi Dixon Kwon

Heidi Dixon Kwon lives in Erie, PA with her hunky husband and feisty Beagle. As a hobby — and for sanity — she writes about her processes in her blog, inkandalabaster.blogspot.com, and aspires to be a signpost for others to seek identity in Christ. Heidi loves sweet coffee, tans easily, is a morning person and can eat her weight in olives. 

Jessica Kim

Jessica Kim lives in sunny Southern California where she loves to run and eat ice cream. She seeks to find creative inspiration through the little things in life, and remains to soul search as she embarks on a new season of being a nursing student this year. She’s hoping to find the perfect balance between creative pursuit and servanthood to the Lord by serving His people.

Nathalie Llemos

Nathalie Llemos graduated from ArtCenter College of Design studying illustration with a focus on design. She takes great joy in analog processes and working with her hands. She also enjoys home cooked stews, stop motion films, and loves dogs (pugs).

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