The summer after I graduated from University I worked for a few months in an antique mall in my hometown. “An antique mall?” you ask, “how many antiques do Americans need?!” Well the answer is “a lot of antiques” because this place was 70,000 square feet of antique collectibles: vendors could rent out a block and set up their own unique stall – some specialized in antique clothes and jewellery, others in dishes and kitchenware… one wall was floor to ceiling antique license plates from all 50 states. The largest and most valuable section, however, was restored furniture.
You would hardly know that these shelves, chairs and drawers were antiques – the entire section was polished, gleaming wood. And the vendor that rented the section could hardly be called an antiques dealer… really he was a craftsman. He hunted down these old pieces of furniture, the ones he saw value in, and drawer by drawer, handle by handle, he sanded, smoothed, refitted, stained and varnished the pieces until they shined. And the prices sure did match the craftsmanship – the most expensive pieces in the mall sat in that section and only the most determined buyers shopped there. I never saw more than two pieces sell from that section, but each sale was worthwhile… they were worth thousands of dollars each!
Despite their age, how they might’ve looked or the damage done to them before their restoration, the careful work of that craftsman actually increased the value of each individual piece. They were worth more now, restored, than they were brand new in the shop! So it is with us and God – we might think we’ve lost value in the eyes of others, or even of God, because of the damage done to us. We might find it embarrassing or even degrading to think that we might need repairing. But when we allow ourselves to be lovingly restored by the Master Craftsman, our true beauty and value is revealed – and we too will sparkle and gleam, both inside and out!
Written by Cheri Young – Diamonds Scotland Volunteer