Tucked away in my butterfly garden, a unique whimsical birdbath protrudes above the geranium, yet not quite as tall as the cosmos when they are in full maturity. A small pathway leads to the structure, framed by blue lobelia, white alyssium and purple salvia.
Checking out a local antique store in the next town a few years back with my sister, we spied the base, a chunky, carved-out pedestal, painted in several pastel shades of blues, corals and pinks. Reasonably priced, my sister suggested it would make a great base for a birdbath. Now the hunt was on for a perfect "bowl" to attach.
Found it! Stuck on top of a high armoir, a "pink" metal bowl, perfect in shape, size, and price, became my new project--an addition to a butterfly garden I started that spring. With a little epoxy and some cleaning up, it soon found its permanent home, outside my sliding glass door as I come down the stairs. I can see it and the blooming garden as I begin my day.
This winter, as I cleaned up my plants, culled out the dead and prepared the soil for the new, I noticed what poor shape the pedestal had taken on over the months of watering, weather, and sun. Parts of the design and broken off and the color, faded-- a dull grayish...something. There were no defining colors left, just a blackish mold and deteriorating design.
My whimsical, garden art no longer looked attractive, alive, new, fun, colorful...but dull and lifeless--UNattractive.
I decided then and there that this unique creation needed a restoration...again. I would pull it out of the garden and begin the make-over soon.
Over the last two weeks, I purchased a small wire brush, some blue tape and a can of spray stain-covering primer. The bristles removed the black mold, the dust, and smoothed the surface for the primer. Taping off the bowl, I sprayed it down leaving it to dry for a few days.
Having several cans of paint lying around, I knew I wanted to use what I had and not invest any more. That's part of the fun.
This week, I've been working on a new color every afternoon. I didn't have a design in mind, but as I go, I can picture which color I need and where to apply it, complementing the color next to it. I look forward each afternoon to add another layer of paint, seeing it come back to life! Once faded, now becoming transformed, --alive, vibrant--what it is meant to be. The carvings on the pedestal are defined once again. I can't wait to see it shine, probably better then it did originally!
I think God does that. He sees us in His beautiful Creation--worn, weathered, faded. He comes to us, picks up the broken pieces of our lives and finds the right way to mend us, fix us up. Sometimes, a little scrubbing, maybe some sanding down of our rough spots, our moldy sins, is His sweet discipline preparing us for the next steps. He primers us with grace and we are made white again, pure in His eyes. Then, he begins to make us into something He designed all along, adding the color back, some which we've had stored somewhere...
He restores the luster and redefines our gifts. He leads us to His purpose, placing us in the midst of a garden full of His encouragers and fills us with His Holiness. Others stop to take a drink, be refreshed and linger awhile to hear the stories of old and the hope of the new.
Are you fading in your faith? Do you need restoration? Have you let the mold and mildew of the world tarnish your attitude? Do you think your broken pieces can never be mended?
As Christians, we have an inheritance that is imperishable! We need tender-loving-care from the Lord to keep us new and attractive, fresh and alive, excited and worthy, but that takes an active plan on our part to spend some time with our Maker. Yes, we are born again, but God has an abundance of glory awaiting us in that decision to submit to the Craftman! Let's ask Him to polish up the fading faith of our lives and give us some bright hope from His Word. Fellowship with others helps us see Your purpose again and God will place us at the window of His will, ready to greet the new days of sunshine, as we stand tall in His favor.
We are never a finished project Lord, until You call us home. How awesome to know that You are continually working and improving me, seeing me as Your unique creation, and allowing me to be used for Your glorious purpose. May my testimony and commitment never fade, but continue to gain strength and brightness as I learn and grow in You. Thank you Lord for seeing me and putting the pieces together, placing me where I can be the best I can be and surrounding me with beauty in the gardens of my life. Make me fancy Lord for Your glory, not mine, for You are a loving God and my cup overflows. Amen
|‘Glory Window,’ Chapel of Thanksgiving, Dallas, Texas|