Our twin girls have been asking for a couple of desks for their room now that they’re back in school. Being a thrifter at heart, it’s given me an excuse to browse through the Goodwill every few days to see if there’s anything that will fit the bill. Yesterday, I hit the jackpot. I didn’t find desks, but I drove away with a ten dollar, banged up treasure that I couldn’t wait to peel back the layers on. Well, sand the layers off, I guess is more accurate. I drug this old hutch from the back of the suburban and eased it down onto my back patio. I couldn’t even wait to change clothes before I started working, pulling my electric sander out from under a heap of work gloves and dirty tools before walking outside. Once I turned that sander loose on layers of stain and scratches and dings, I could almost feel a rhythm begin in my soul. There’s something that happens when I invest time into the things that I love, and making old things new fills up an empty cup for me. I could sense beauty laying dormant under layers of grime, and I couldn’t wait to find it.
I thought so much about my Jesus while I worked. He seemed to be reminding me that he was once a carpenter,who could see the finished work of his hands in his mind’s eye before it was ever visible to those around him. And he continues to be willing to sand away our ugly layers if we let him, because he sees what’s hidden beneath our surfaces. He testifies to the beauty in his creation, rather than the mistakes we’ve made, the rules we’ve broken, or the lives we’ve hurt. It only took a little while of smoothing out this hutch’s rough edges and seeing the grain of beautiful wood rise to the surface to answer the question, “Am I valuable?” Yes! The answer is always yes.
We may feel used and abused under layers of hurt, or shame, or not feeling like we’re living up to standards we’ve placed out of our own reach. But, before we allow ourselves to be so easily discarded, know that Jesus says there’s more than meets the eye. He gets right to the heart of our matters and can open us up to new purpose if we’ll let him.
You are valuable today. And tomorrow… you’ll be valuable then too. We all have rough edges and scratched up outsides, but we were made to be treasures. Because we have a carpenter that put his whole life into ours.