moments of grace
of an old ratty table that i 'made new'.
i hauled it out of the barn, wiped it off, washed it down, painted it,
and covered it with
scraps and bits and pieces of tattered, torn, discolored old papers
laying them one over the other
to cover some things and reveal others.
i worked for days on it,
choosing the right papers to use
smoothing out the wrinkles as they were each glued on painstakingly,
adding painted shadows to define some pieces,
highlighting the words and images that i wanted
to call attention to
and letting some areas fade into the background
to be not so noticeable.
in the end, i added a semi-gloss clear lacquer finish on top
to shine up the surface and protect it from damage.
great allegory there......
i've spent a lot of time hiding things.
revealing only pieces and bits of what was real.
highlighting what i felt was 'worthy' of attention
and was not deathly afraid of revealing.
then glossing it all up to protect something, or someone. or someones.
because the truth is, the old oak table that i started with
[one that came from a dirty old one-car garage behind a cottage
on a busy old street in Bakersfield, California back in the 80's]
had more integrity, more durability, more usefulness
than anything i could have done to it
to make it appear 'better'.
the cracks, the gouges, the stains, the chips
held more honest value
than my 'improvements' and attempts at changing the reality
of what it was.
i'm a lot like that old table....
i've lived many 'lives'.
i've experienced a lot of changes.
i show a lot of 'wear and tear' sometimes ;0)
and i've been through more 'do-overs' and 'make-overs' of my life
[job/career/house/town/state etc. etc. etc.]
just like coats of paint.
i came from less-than-ideal beginnings,
have worked hard to make something 'better' of myself,
and have the stains, scars, dents, dings, gouges, and scratches to prove it.
the thing is
i'm not so worried about covering them up anymore.
i've learned to accept them, live with them,
even appreciate and love them
for how far they have brought me.
for how much they show that i have LIVED.
i don't blame anyone else for the fact that the scars are a part of me
or blame myself for allowing them to be inflicted
i am just grateful that i didn't end up
burning to ashes
when i was thrown into the fire.
i feel like the hand of the master carpenter reached in
and pulled me out when the flames of hell began reaching for me...
and i am thankful that by His hand,
i am still as useful as an old oak table
i can still stand
and no glossy finish or layers of things to hide behind are necessary
for me to be His beautiful creation...
that's what grace can do.
Topics: moments of grace