Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tarnished ?

A little over eight months ago my ninety-six year old Daddy passed away. It was both a sad time and a glad time for me.  Sad because he had always been a sure anchor in my life but glad because I knew that now he was at Home with his Lord!  My mother...the best Christian woman I ever knew....had preceded him to heaven when she passed away when I was only sixteen. So with Daddy's passing I was left parent-less....biologically speaking that is.  I still have my step-mother of thirty-five years whom I love dearly.
After a few weeks passed, every time I would go and visit my step mamma (T.) she would say, "I found something of your mother's that I want to give to you."  First it was some handmade quilts my Mama made that had been folded and carefully wrapped and stored on the top shelf of a closet for years and years. After that it was a box of embroidered doilies and table scarves with crochet and tatting lace around the edges....again, all handmade by my Mama.  There were other things, too, but I'll tell you about them later.
One day after T. had brought out something else she had found of Mama's I asked her about a wooden chest with silverware in it that I had remembered Mama buying when I was ten or so.  T. replied that she had never seen it in all the years she and Daddy had been married.   Then in a few weeks ....just after T's son had been up in the attic to install a ceiling fan ...she called me and said, "We found your silverware!"  It had been in the attic for about thirty-five years!  I'm sure that Daddy had packed away some of Mama's things so he would have room for T. to bring a lot of her personal things with her to their marriage.
When I first started to open the long lost chest I wasn't sure what I might find inside.  And sure enough....all the silverware was a mottled looking grayish/black!   Nasty looking!  I could hardly wait to take it home and get out the silver creme and polish it.  I wanted to use it on our Christmas table when all our children came for dinner.   But, whew!  I had forgotten just what a job it is to polish silver!   It took me longer than I thought it would but I did manage to get enough cleaned and polished for us to eat our Christmas dinner with it!  
I didn't clean all the silver because I was in a hurry and as I was putting the clean silver back in the chest after we had eaten dinner I looked at it beside the still tarnished silver.
A picture came into my mind of how we as Christians can be like these silver forks.   At the beginning of this post you can see three of my silver forks.  Which would you want to eat with?  The first one that still has all the tarnish on it?  No??  Oh, I heard you!  The third one!  WHY???  Because it's all shiny and clean?  But what about the one in the middle?  It's partly shiny!  No???  You're sticking with your first answer, huh?  The shiny one is the only one that meets your standards of cleanliness.   But you know what?  They're all three forks!  The tarnish does not make any one of them any less a fork than the others.  But the tarnish DOES make the forks undesirable to eat with!
How many times do we as Christians remove ourselves from the things of the Lord, or even just lie dormant in Him and begin to be tarnished by the things of the world?  The longer we resist God's voice to return to Him, the more tarnish we have on us.  Oh, we're still Christians all right!  But we just can't be used of God like the other Christians who stay up close to God and let Him polish them up every day with His Holy Spirit and His Word. 
Silver has to be used often after it is polished or it will tarnish again!  If we want to be usable in God's work, we must let Him polish us and then we must let Him use us so we will stay polished! Are you tarnished? I know I get that way all too often but I don't want to stay that way!
"Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer."  Proverbs 25: 4
God bless you.....


Leah said...

Awesome thoughts!! I know that God needs to do a lot of polishing on me most days!

Hope you have a great evening!


Deborah said...

What a great post. I love the way you made the application to our lives!
I stopped by to invite you to join my new blog roll....come and check it out at my blog!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

A lot of elbow grease, but the results are radiant. As it is with the forks, so it is with us! Thanks for the beautiful analogy. I'm so glad that you have discovered some treasures to keep amidst the memories that bring both joy and pain.

Be blessed and happy weekend!


Joyful said...

Desiring God to polish my life and keep me useable.

Thinking also...there can be some pretty sparkling lives on the outside, with tarnished hearts. We need a complete cleansing from the inside out!

Have a great weekend,
Love & prayers,

Alene said...

Thanks for referring me to this post, girl! Love it. Yep, I get tarnished and need polishing quite often. I love ya bloggy friend!