One of the things I love about antiques is that they usually have a story to tell.
The type of wood and the style used to make a piece of furniture can tell you where and when it was made. Marks on the bottom of pottery give you a clue to its origins, and perhaps even the name of the artist who fashioned it. The condition of a piece tells you what sort of life it’s had.
But occasionally antiques tell us something a bit deeper than that.
For instance, I recently bought an antique oak side chair dating from the mid-1800s. It’s nothing impressive, simply the type of armless chair you might have at your dining room table.
The tale it tells is rather moving, however.
I can tell from the dozens of drilled holes around the perimeter of the seat frame that it once had a cane or rush seat. The material must have broken decades ago, because a plywood seat was later installed. Even this seat has been upholstered twice since.
One of the chair’s bottom rails broke at some point and is being held together with a tiny makeshift splint. Several of the back splats fractured as well, and were replaced with ones made from a different type of wood. There’s also evidence of repairs to wobbly joints over the decades.
What does all this tell me?
That someone never gave up on this little chair.
With all its woes and breakages, they could have simply thrown it out. But they loved it so much that they thought it was worth repairing, and they did so, over and over again.
Do you know that God feels the same way about you?
He’ll never give up on you!
Sometimes doing things ourselves isn’t always the best idea, is it?
My mechanic certainly seems to think so.
I saw a humorous sign at his shop a few months ago when I was getting the snow tires put on my car. It read:
Regular rate: $1 per hour
If you watch: $2 per hour
If you help: $10 per hour
If you tried to fix it yourself and couldn’t: $20 per hour.”
I guess sometimes it’s simply better to let an expert handle things!
It’s no different in our lives, is it?
Sometimes God wants us to hand Him the reins and trust that He’ll come through for us. If we try to do things our own way, it can end up being costly and taking more time.
We all shudder at the sound of something breaking, don’t we? We can’t help but wince when we hear glass or crockery shattering into pieces on the floor.
Why do we have that involuntary reaction? Because we know that the object probably can’t be repaired: it’s likely to be damaged irreparably, and must be thrown away.
We’re wincing at the sound of loss.
But what if there were a way to not only put the pieces back together, but to make the object more beautiful than it was before, despite the breaks?
The Japanese long ago invented a way of doing just that, and have even made an art form of it. It’s called “Kintsugi,” which means “golden joinery.” The process involves mending the cracks in pottery with gold lacquer. Instead of trying to hide the damaged areas, they are instead highlighted with something precious. The end result is a restored piece of pottery that is beautiful at the broken places.
But what happens if it’s not a piece of pottery that is broken, but a life? How can a shattered heart be put back together?