“You can’t be your mother’s daughter.” My aunt said as I sat with a pile of tarnished silver and a bucket of ashes. I laughed. My mother came from a very wealthy family in Chicago. Whenever my mother was being naughty my grandmother would say, “Sharon! Polish the silver!” A task she hated.
That angst must have skipped my generation. I love to make things shine. It is calming to sit and make silver gleam with real old-fashioned hand polishing. Over the years as I buff some antique prized object a depth develops like the shimmer of a pearl with a shine that is more than what is on the surface. More than skin deep.
I have a very old gold ring and it needed a new stone. It was old gold. Not the glaring mirror polish of new gold. I told the jeweler “Do not polish this. I don’t want the story buffed away.” Old gold has a warm buttery softness that comes with years of wear. Years of being buffeted by the worries of life, like when a young bride might earnestly rub her new wedding ring praying her husband returns from the war. Or the young mother who worries her husband will leave as she twists her ring in fear.
How can I take that precious story and buff it back to a mirror shine that makes it “like new” as if it never happened, as if the pain never happened?
In my life, as in yours too, I have suffered many wounds that have long been healed yet there remains scars. Some scars look rough. However, they tell a story, of how God has healed me. How God doesn’t act as if the wounds never took place trying to rub the story away to make me like new. I don’t want to be “like new.” Jesus has scars. They tell a story of a love that will stop at nothing to save his beloved.
However, that same passionate love will take me and buff out the rough edges of my character. Ouch!
This type of buffing I often resist because it hurts to see the truth about my flaws.
God knows how to polish us in such a way that the story, our story, becomes His story. His story of love that bears scars, His story of never giving up on me or you. A polish that brings out a shine that is more than skin deep like old gold that is warm.
My human nature likes it rough. It likes being self-centered, selfish. I like my comfort zones. Thankfully, God loves to “Polish the silver.”
God doesn’t polish me to make me “like new” He wants to make me “better than new.” Scars and all.