In the Refinishing and the Farewells

Recently we had a theft take place at our house making it the third in less than a year. I was angry, hurt, frustrated, suspicious… so many negative feelings surrounded my being. Immediately thinking of the “who done it”. Who had trespassed taking what does not belong to them?  I wanted to know who it was.  I wanted to RUN AWAY!  Instead I searched for solitude in refinishing a piece of furniture ~ It was there I found alone time; time with the One who is refinishing me.

The stage was set; the desk placed in the driveway, knobs/handles/drawers removed leaving the original painted finish, the top is taped off, and the remainder of the desk is given a light scuffing up with sand paper.  A couple leftover cans of paint are opened and mixed together.  The radio is brought out; worship songs begin to play.  As I begin to paint the surfaces some of the old shows through.  It’s not a thick covering of paint but a layer strategically placed to prepare the surface for an entire new look all while allowing some of the layers to show through.  The mind is no longer thinking about the stolen property.  Lyrics take me to the woman I used to be.  They lead me to the who I am now; more importantly, whose I am.

My mind travels to a house up the street, a house full of dysfunction.  A house, not a home.  A place where young children play while the older ones are influenced by drugs, alcohol, and a partying poverty mentality.  My heart begins to break for them, all of them.  Tears flow as the paintbrush glides across the surfaces of the desk.  I’m reminded of Ezekiel in the valley of the dry bones as the song, Come Alive by Lauren Daigle plays.  I sing along praying, “God, raise up those dry bones ~ make that house a home.  Are we Your light they are meant to see?  Is that why You have us here?  Help us show Your glory in this dark place.”

Not unlike that ole desk, our lives can get dark and dingy.  They get bumped and scraped, dented, and all marked up.  Sometimes they become quite ugly.  Then someone comes along and sees our worth.  They see the potential.  They pick us up and begin a labor of love.  God knows our worth.  He knows our potential.  Oftentimes He has to scuff us up a bit in order to begin the process of restoration.  He may allow some of our not so pretty surface to show through so that we can be reminded of who or where we once were.  He strategically puts a clean coat of paint on us, clothing us in dignity and truth.

The desk isn’t quite finished; neither is God and like the old Sunday School song, “He’s still workin’ on me, to make me what I ought to be … How loving and patient He much be.  He’s still workin’ on me.”   God is faithful and will one day be completed with our refinishing.  May His light shine bright in us as we walk this journey.   May we “walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.  May our speech be always with grace….” Col. 4:5-6a

During this time, we had a dear friend whose battle with cancer would soon be over. Knowing she was at the end of her journey here on earth we circled the grief wheel. Angry because of a flippant western medicine world and belief system who seems to see/give no hope.  Hurt because we believe in a better alternative that some don’t accept causing us to feel helpless. Sad because we have to say, “so long for now”. Heartbroken because we have lost a strong, powerful, incredible, beautiful, sweet worship leader and Christ follower.

God comes and reminds us that our sweet sister is singing the song of the redeemed.  Now she worships only at the feet of Jesus.  There’s no more pain, no more sorrow.  She is in the presence of Jehovah.  Do we mourn?  Absolutely. She will be sorely missed.  We hold tight to the times we spent with her.  So, do we also celebrate?  Yes.  Happy because we have such wonderful memories. Grateful because we had the opportunity to know, worship along side of, sit and sup with,  share with, to love and be loved by her. Praising God that we have a hope and will one day be together again for eternity.
Ami, we mourn our loss yet rejoice in your healing.  

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