Thursday, April 29, 2010


When you return to the Lord your God, then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you. Deuteronomy 30:2-3

Jesus said to the healed woman, “Daughter, your faith has made you well;
go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” Mark 5:34

I have an antique trestle-style library table. No, let me rephrase that. I have the pieces of an antique trestle-style table. Some are splintered, all are dusty, and they are stacked in the corner of my garage.

Once belonging to my Uncle Fritz and Aunt Margie, the skinny table used to decorate the back wall of their vintage Midwest farmhouse living room. Throughout my entire childhood and youth, the table was most often topped with a doily, a lamp, and a filled candy dish. At holiday time, it boosted their 4 foot tall artificial Christmas tree to a grand height and held their tissue-paper wrapped gifts.

Especially in its current state, the table is of no particular worth. Made of inexpensive pine varnished into a sticky blackness, its only value is sentimental. And yet, I’ve carried that small woodpile with me on several cross country moves always with the hope and expectation that someday—when I have time—I will restore the heap into a serviceable item of furniture.

Restoration, of course, means to return something to its earlier condition. But it also means to take it a step further—to refurbish something to a better condition.

Both Old and New Testament verses in today’s Daily Text speak of restoration. In one example we hear about someone being restored to the community following a time of exile and isolation. In the other, we learn of someone’s health and wholeness being restored. In both cases, these acts of restoration are life-affirming and positive. The people effected end up being better than ever because they have come to know God’s compassion.

Struggles in this life are the gritty sandpaper, the grinder that scrapes against the surface and scratches off the old finish. Without the grit, the stain wouldn’t adhere, and without the stain, the beauty of the grain would not be revealed—even better than the first time.

Someday I’ll get to work on that table. In the meantime, I invite God to keep working on me.

1 comment:

  1. great post...

    so much sandpaper in my life.... you would think it would be time for the staining!