My daughter in law, who along with my son of course, lives with my dad, finally took on the humongous task of spring cleaning. It has only taken thirteen Springs to motivate her, she’s a better woman than I am, I’m still waiting for the right Spring.
While going through a bottom kitchen drawer, you know, the drawer we all have that collects everything we’ve always wanted but never used, she came upon some old serving spoons and forks that she set aside for me.
“These probably belonged to your mother; I thought you or Bruce (my brother) would want them.” She explained when I dropped by for my nightly visit with dad.
I picked up the trophies she offered me. Black. Black as sin. Ugly. Ugly as sin. I thought she was nuts. Why would I want these crummy, filthy , black, ugly things. I don’t have much in the way of standards but I certainly don’t need more junk in my kitchen drawers either.
“I don’t think so, but thanks anyway,” I replied, none to sincerely. Then at the hurt look on her face I swiftly switched gears. “Do you have any toothpaste?” Now I was being looked at as though I was nuts. (An appropriate look on most occasions). It's a little known fact that toothpaste is a handy ingredient for removing tarnish.
Susan brought the toothpaste to me at the kitchen sink where I started smearing it on a serving spoon, encrusted with….gosh I don’t want to know what. As I rubbed, black stains traded sides from spoon to sponge. The sponge got blacker, the spoon got…prettier. Wow. This was real silver junk, not just aluminum junk. It wasn’t long before all the pieces were lying on the counter gleaming up at me. One spoon even had my dad’s name on the handle, having belonged to him as a child. It was impressive watching as each letter revealed itself. The eating tools even played videos of the times mom used these same pieces at holiday dinners. Thanksgivings, Christmases, Easters. Thirty years of memories were unleashed from under all the black, ugly tarnish.
My mom had come home again. She had passed away twenty some years ago but thanks to spring cleaning and my daughter in law, here she was again; sitting on the kitchen counter. What an ironic twist of fate, she would never let me sit on the counter! I couldn’t wait to put these serving pieces into use again, until then they would be in my kitchen drawer; the top drawer that gets opened every day. I won’t wait for special occasions to use these newly discovered utensils. Every day will be a day of remembrance for mom, whenever I get the chance to serve dinner.
This reminded me of a day when God found me in the bottom of a drawer, (under a load of sin and despair). The day he took my black sins (the tarnish veneer over my life) and cleaned me with toothpaste (the blood of Jesus) and made be beautiful (there I go dreaming again) and put me back into service (in the kitchen?) I’m grateful that when he set eyes on me his first reaction wasn’t one of repulsion. He immediately saw my worth and smeared cleansing fluid over me, and placed me in the top drawer. The drawer where all the useful supplies are.
Isn’t it amazing how black tarnished silverware can speak for God! It tells me that buried underneath every tarnished, sin blackened life is a beautiful serving piece waiting to be cleaned and used. Every sin ladened person is a name on God’s heart. I never would have thought of my daughter in law as a prophet but she was definitely God’s messenger that day.
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