For anyone who knows me, simple would not be a word used to describe me.
Generally crazy, wild and outrageous people are not simple.
And insecure overachievers are definitely not simple.
Yes, there is nothing simple about me.
But today I’m realizing there is even more to me than I realize.
I’m a bit like the old antique dresser I have. I know thats a crazy analogy and I really should not call myself an antique but follow me for a minute.
This dresser came into my mom’s possession when I was a teenager. My mom is a finder of things and a lover of old things. This dresser was hiding out (or hiding behind as we will do) in what we call a “junk” shop with all the other cast away furniture of days gone by. It was painted a lovely shade of cream but due to the many scratches and dents one knew it was not the only color it had been. Most would look past and discard this piece. That is unless you are able to look past the surface and see it’s “bones” (wow…that’s a different perspective). Antiques are like that; it’s always more about the character of the piece than the actual appearance. I fact the character usually enhances the outward appearance. This old dresser had good “lines” as she would say and it was solid. So we took her home for $25.00.
After some cleaning up and airing out (yes it was a bit smelly from abuse and then lack of use) it became my dresser. Some time would pass and after a marriage and a move to the other side of the country, the dresser came to reside in a garage in the frozen north. And it became my project. Curiousity had gotten the best of me and I had to know what was under that paint. So began what would be a much longer process than I realized. What I didn’t know was that the cream paint was just one of many layers that now adorned my dresser. So began the stripping process.
Pour the stripper, let it melt it away, scrap and sand it off. Rinse and repeat…and repeat, and repeat, and repeat. And that was just the easy surfaces first. Then came the intricate areas. Remember I said it had nice lines? Well that means many areas for the paint to have settled in, never to come out. No simple sanding here. Chipping away was all I could do. And did I mention that some of the paint had actually penetrated the original wood? It was forever part of the surface.
A scar of sorts…a reminder. Of what had been but was now redeemed back.
Days turned into weeks and finally the original surface appeared. Layer upon layer removed, sanded, chipped away, sanded a bit more until the original piece shone through.
And it was beautiful!
Inlaid wood, painstaking detail, turned legs, solid hardwood maple. A masterpiece, just like you.
Yes there was more to it than I realized…and it was far more valuable than the $25.00 paid for it. The shop owner just didn’t know what he had.
We are like that. We never really know what we’re made of until the tearing away, the stripping down, the chipping away at all the hard to reach places happens. And sometimes we are discarded because people didn’t really know what they had beneath all the “layers”.
The complicated mess we’ve allowed ourselves to become is really a simple masterpiece created by the Master…the one who sees us beyond the surface life we’ve created.
Nothing complicated, yet so very intricate and valuable.
Nothing difficult, just a simple creation of love that fills His heart to overflow.
So who are you REALLY underneath the layers of life you’ve taken on? Do you know there is a you with an outrageous purpose only you can fulfill? Have you ever thought there was really more to you than what you’ve painted your surface to be?
People have often asked how to restore antique furniture and I do not have a standard response. You see, like us, all the pieces are different, covered with different things and each requiring different methods of removal. But as I look at myself it’s always been so simple, it is I, my own measure of who I am that complicates things.
So the raw reality is I’m just a hot mess girl, covered with less layers than before thanks to His grace and love, who is allowing the Master restorer to strip away until I am the me I was created to be.
So how about you? Will you allow a small, nearly inaudible whisper of “yes” to escape your lips? That’s all it takes…simple right? And the Master will gently begin the process. Is it sometimes long? Yes. Is is sometimes painful and uncomfortable? Yes. Do you go it alone? Never! Is is worth is all? Absolutely!
One very simple Yes and the journey of restoration begins….Until next time…let it be well with your soul!
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11;28-29)