Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thrift Store Treasures

I love thrift stores.  And estate sales.  Hmmm.  And yard sales.  The challenge of finding something wonderful that a previous owner has discarded or undervalued is irresistible.  The thrill of uncovering a treasure hidden beneath layers of paint (or dirt) is addicting.  Yes, I admit it, I’m a junk junkie.

On a recent trip to one of my favorite thrift stores, I was elated to unearth a little statue hidden on a back shelf.  A Berta Hummel figurine!

His face was adorable.  There were two long chips along the edge of his hat, but his face was perfect.  Since I enjoy repair work, I was undaunted.  The nature of the hand painted variations in color and shading would make it an easy fix. 

Later that evening, upon closer examination, I saw a tiny chip on his hand, and one across the bend of his ankle. I needed my magnifying glass to see the faint repair line extending in either direction from a chip on his knee.  

The little guy had been broken and glued back together!  How could I have missed that earlier?  Turning the figure, I saw that his leg had actually been broken into four pieces.  Amazingly, his other leg had been broken into five.  The base had been split in half before being repaired.  The little guy looked as if he had been hurled against a wall. 

I was disappointed, but at the same time amazed at the skill with which he had been repaired.  Someone had lovingly, painstakingly, put all the pieces back together with such expertise and care that the mends were barely noticeable.  There was nothing further I could do, short of a complete restoration repaint.  And my skills were certainly not on the level with the original artist, the master painter.  My repaint would only ruin the charm and appeal of the little guy. 

All night I thought about the little treasure, for he was still lovely, although lacking any monetary value.  He had been severely damaged, and skillfully repaired, but only the original artist could truly restore him.

That’s the difference between repair and restoration.   And that’s kind of how it is with us.  When we are broken, no matter how carefully we try to reconstruct ourselves, the damage remains. It may be barely noticeable, or it may be grossly obvious, but it will be there.  We may present a perfect  face to the world, but somewhere under the layers of paint and dirt, the fine cracks, the evidence of violence, pain, or betrayal will still be there.  Only the Master can completely restore us.  

Have you been hurt?  Damaged?  Are you hiding scars deep below your surface?  Maybe you buried the pain and have never even spoken of it to another human being.  But God knows.  Even if you have been skillfully repaired, the damage is still there; because no one but the Original Artist can fully restore you.  Until you hand Him all the pieces of your life, he cannot complete his work in you.  

You can read God’s promise in Jeremiah 30:17, ‘For I will restore you to health, And I will heal you of your wounds,’

Are you ready to hand Him your pieces?

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