I am going to try to write my heart…. but, please understand I may not get it all out, rightly. I may need to sit with it longer….become better friends with it…..be quiet and come to a better understanding, more familiar with the beat of it.
I never would have thought that at 51, I would still be somewhat lost. I recall the “older” women of my church and my community when I was growing up, and they all seemed to be settled into their path….of course, I can look back at them now, and see that their experience and mine are much a like, but it isn’t how I thought it would be. Truthfully, I thought I would be a published writer by now. A public speaker in demand. I never dreamed that as I pursued those things, even put in the time to get the writing done, that I would feel the spirit ask me to “slow my roll.”
Is it possible to be called “to” something, only to be asked to walk away from it? My experience says yes.
This weekend as I was wondering, deep in thought, I wandered into a local antique shop. A place that I had wanted to visit for some time, but for whatever the reasons, put it off. My timing could not have been more perfect. It was as if it was a divine appointment.
I cannot even begin to share with you the journey of the last several years. The starts and stops, the doors opened and closed. The moments of pure clarity and the moments wallowing in the mud.
I love “old things” I am blessed to be surrounded by some of the most amazing artists who take a previously used and nearly worn out item and completely turn it into something else completely different… or restored it to a better version of itself. Every year I attend the Farm Chick Show with girlfriends, as well as several other Antique fairs and visit other friends’ amazing stores, while celebrating the countless artist friends who amaze me with their ability to do the impossible.
As I sat in church today, something else I have struggled with the last couple of year… due to what I call a season of wait…..(which I don’t do well), Pastor was reading in Acts (one of my favorite books of the bible) and referenced the word “Restore” – – – – It was if my spirit came alive for the first time in a very long time… I was shocked by it actually, as it wasnt even on topic of what he was referring to. But, all the amazing antique creations that I have seen over the years seemed to come flooding over me….
What if, I thought… What if the church operated like one of my brilliant artist friends’ workshop and we were in the RESTORATION business? What if? I am not just talking about restoring in the sense of bringing mankind back to God… as we believe is available to all of mankind.. But, what if we were truly in the restoration business for those in the church who have fallen so badly that they are to afraid, to ashamed, to angry to get back up. Or maybe they are just to broken because they felt they were doing everything that the spirit had asked us to do, only to be asked to lay it down and have no idea why, and they haven’t heard anything since, and it has left them weak and shattered and frustrated and….. what if it were simply okay to meet with those in the church and just admit “we” are really pissed….. hurt and stuck….
I sat there, envisioning all the things that happen, and doesn’t happen, in these artist’s work shops…. Sometimes, there is a total dismemberment of the item and then piece by piece it is put it back together – – – back to it’s origin, better than ever. Sometimes, it is made into something completely different – a better, and higher use. And sometimes, it is left with all of its chipped paint and scars and rust and….. and it is the observer that has to changes, and begin to see it in a different light. Like the old orchard ladder with its broken wrung, chipped paint, and soil stained…. that hangs from the ceiling in the most amazing of kitchens, proudly displaying high-end cooking pots.
Matthew 12:- tells us that there is no sin that cannot be forgiven. No pieces of art – made by the creator God, that cannot be restored. While certainly I don’t think that “we” mere man, are the artist in this scenario of restoring the fallen.. That is God the creator…. but, certainly we are called to be the tools. And, certainly, it should our desire to have eyes that can see them, once restored, in a new light. That we are create enough to be able to the changes either being restored to their old glory or that they have been designed in a new way, a new ministry and new effect.
In the world of Shabby Chic Antiquing world we hear three phrases a lot 1) Re-use 2) Re-New and 3) Re-Purpose – – – I wonder if we are brave enough in the church to be willing to see fallen saints in a new way…. And to embrace that restoring is a concept that can and should happen with fallen saints as much as with new ones.