This post is a little different than what I usually do and I've actually had it saved as a 'draft' for about a month hoping to take a picture of the cabinet in the entryway of our new home we'll move into in January. I thought I would post it now and update it later with a picture. After all, it is Christmas time and I'd like to dedicate this to my loving Savior and all He's done for me.
I so badly wish I would have taken a before picture as well as an after-sanding picture so you could visually see what I'm talking about in this post. (Just imagine the worst!)
I got a sewing machine in a little cabinet for $25 the other day. I was loading it up in my van and the lady asked if I wanted to take a look at it first. I replied, "no... It's only $25"! Once I got it home and took a better look at the cabinet I realized it was in worse condition than I thought. The veneer was peeling up in many places and needed a lot of gluing. There was a large piece of the veneer missing on the top that I had to patch (and it still wasn't pretty). After gluing I saw other areas, like joints that were failing from being exposed to poor conditions. I worked a little bit more and began sanding. I wasn't taking the time like I usually do to make sure I was sanding all the surfaces perfectly and I didn't remove any hardware to truly restore. After sanding, the cabinet was looking pitiful. I began to think "is this even worth my time?" I decided since I had already done so much I would just go with it and see how it turned out. I didn't even try sanding the heavy scratches out of the top or the water ring from a cup (that looks like it had been sitting there for months). I dipped my rag into a can of stain; with the first pass I quickly began to see the beauty in the wood again. It didn't take much, just 10 minutes and it already looked so much better. I did another pass with the stain and I began to appreciate the imperfections of the cabinet. I saw the flaws and details that weren't perfect anymore due to being mistreated, forgotten in a garage for many years and the toll the climate took on the wood. I appreciated those imperfections more because it showed the life it lived and what it had gone through. It breathed new life again and I became deeply humbled that I had taken a short time to show some TLC - because in the end I'd prefer to have this cabinet in my home than a new one from the store!
As I was putting on the last coat of stain I started realizing what I was doing is similar to what my Savior Jesus Christ does for all of us. We become torn, battered and broken through life. Some of us feel like we're not worth the time to fix and we don't ask for help. We forget that life is all about learning from our mistakes, repenting and becoming better and stronger. Christ spent his whole life helping those with hands that hung down, those that were sad, mistreated and disabled. He spent more time with the downtrodden than with any other people. He sees the value in us when we can't see any ourselves. He died to pay the price for our sins. If we ask for his help He can make us beautiful again! We are worth it! The imperfections we have or the trials we go through have the ability to make us better than we ever could have been without them.
I hope that when we see imperfections in other people we won't judge them, but instead lift up their heads and hold their hand in ours and give them an encouraging smile. We have no idea what other people are going through and the best we can do is to love and show them they're worth it.