Monday, October 25, 2010

UNVARNISHED

MAYBE IT’S A QUIRK OF MY NATURE, but I actually enjoy taking an old piece of furniture or an old gizmo or gadget and clean it up and put it back into use, maybe even as something different than what was originally intended. There is something cathartic in removing years of old varnish and waxy build-up and discovering underneath the beautiful grain of the wood.

One thing that I have learned in the work of restoring old furniture is that it is a messy, smelly, and sometimes toxic process. The chemicals used to remove years of varnish or paint is not stuff to be trifled with. The tools of the trade, steel wool, scrappers and sandpaper, need to be handled with care, lest damage be done to both the piece to be restored or to the one doing the restoration.

The other lesson that I have learned is that the work of restoration is not a quick process. To do things well takes time. Both the removal of the old and the application of the new cannot be hurried. The beautiful thing is that when the right material is applied and the correct tools are used and the proper time is spent the result can be a handsome piece of furniture that can be used and enjoyed for many years to come.

The work of restoring broken relationships takes no less effort than that of a good piece of furniture. In seeking to restore a relationship using the correct tools and applying unhurried time can yield positive benefits that can even make the relationship restored even more beautiful than it was in the beginning.

This work of restoration is what Jesus Christ accomplished through His death and resurrection. His sacrificial death paid the price for our sin and made it possible for our broken relationship with our Abba God to be restored. And the restored relationship is even greater than what had been. The shed blood of Jesus worked to remove the varnish of sin and allowed the beautiful work of the Master Carpenter to be seen in and through us. A work that is to be to the glory of God.

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