April 26, 2013


I have a good friend who had a birthday not long ago. 
The time I spent with her for her birthday has had my thoughts occupied.
For her birthday I decided to take her on a birthday date.  I didn’t take her to a nice place for a lunch or go for pampering and a pedicure …. I took her to a salvage center.  A HUGE big old building filled with old construction material – windows, doors, tile, knobs, hinges, lighting fixtures, sinks, tubs, screws, screens, brackets, … and wood – all kinds of wood from framing to baseboards; from furniture grade scrap to old lumber.
You see, my friend enjoys wood working as a hobby.  She takes old discarded wood and makes things that are useful… beautiful.  There’s been a few times I have found myself driving around with her and stopping to load old fence wood or recruited to unload pallets from the back of her SUV.

On this day, there it stood 8 feet tall among many other old boards. It was old, stained, marked. There were areas deeply darkened by time and weathering; many splatters and paint rings; scars from old nails or screws; yellow tread marks.
Most people would glance right over it. Dismiss it.  It no longer had purpose. It seemingly had little if any worth.
My friend and I lifted it out of the lumber rack.  She ran her hand over it – looked at it from all sides.  Smiling she looked at me and said “this is the one”.  A price was paid for what most would deem waste or a loss. And a treasure was brought home. In time with care, vision and work – there will once again be beauty and purpose…and value. 

Reclaimed. Recovered from discard and refuse. To be brought back to be useful, usable and preferred. To be restored.

As I’ve stood still with my thoughts about the birthday adventure, I see myself in that piece of wood. I carry scars from tragedy and hurts.  I feel weathered by time and life – I have so many stains and flaws – anxiety; fear; at times judgmental, impatient, unforgiving; failures; misunderstandings; shortcomings.
There are times of doubting; times of feeling dismissed – what’s my worth; what’s the purpose; am I valued?
Standing still, I’m pretty sure each of us can relate to that old board.

There is one who sees past my stains and scars.  One who has paid the price for my soul and being.  One to whom I am not discard or by whom I am not dismissed.  One to whom I am valued beyond measure, treasured and loved despite how I may appear.  
It’s humbling and amazing to be reclaimed by His love.
He takes me in whatever condition I am and uses who I am.
All those scars and stains; all that time has brought is purposed.
He looked at me and said “this is the one”.

My prayer now is for you to know your worth – God sees your beauty –– and He has a purpose for you.

YOU and I have been reclaimed.