As I was painting, I made a few bobbles, dripping paint where it didn't belong. As I was sanding off the drips, I started looking at the finished product. There were places where the paint wasn't quite even, the old finish shown through in certain areas and the places where I sanded off the drips was rustic-looking. To some, it may have looked like I had really botched the job. But, to me, the imperfections made the piece, well, perfect.
Personally, I like the shabby chic look, probably because it's a lot like me: a lovely piece with plenty of visible dents and dings that give it ... er... personality. As I was admiring my handiwork, I realized just how much like refinished furniture we must be to God.
We all seem to strive for a polished exterior. In furniture terms, we all want to be like the mass-produced perfectly symmetrical pieces found at the large home furniture stores. We want people to see us and say, "That's beautiful. I want to display that in my well-appointed home." But, those pieces have no character, and very few stand the test of time.
To God we are a lot like the discarded pieces that are renewed with a little love, care and patient work. Life has dinged us up in places. Our finish is scratched, maybe even chipped here and there. But as God sands off the rough spots, he sometimes leaves the underneath exposed. Sometimes he patches the dents. Other times, he lets those places be a reminder of times gone past.
Where others might say, "What a piece of junk!" God smiles and says, "What a masterpiece!" He sees our potential and lovingly restores us to an even greater version of ourselves.
Sometimes I compare myself to moms who seem to have it all together, and I allow my thoughts to slip into places of despair. I start thinking, "What a piece of junk I am." Then God, paintbrush still dripping, taps me on the shoulder and shakes his head. "No," He reminds me. "What a masterpiece."