Over the past 30 years, we as a family have had many moves. Each move I get rid of unnecessary junk, but I battle to get rid of things created by my girls when they were young. I have three briefcases filled with poems, cards and letters. Each case belongs to one of my three girls and represents their love for me, when perhaps at times I really didn't deserve it. I want to put the special ones in a scrapbook, but just have not gotten around to doing it.
Recently I had cause to go out into the workshop to look for something for my gardener, and on the shelf I saw Molly and Joe.
Molly and Joe are bookend Toads, lovingly created and made for me as a gift by Jacquie, my daughter. She had done art after school when she was young and Molly and Joe were presented to me at Christmas. For many years they held pride of place on my mantlepiece, holding up my many books. Sadly, as we moved, they too were moved, but no longer were in my bedroom. They had been put in a cupboard and forgotten!
For a moment I wondered how they had gotten from the study cupboard indoors, to the window in the store room. Then I realized that the workmen who renovated the study and had to empty the cupboard must have put them there.
As I looked at them I felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit. I picked them up. They were a bit battered and scarred, yet still in one piece. Paint was chipped and peeling and Molly's foot broken, but somehow they both were still in one piece. They were covered in dust and cobwebs.
"What are you saying, Lord?" I asked.
He gently whispered, Look at them. Forgotten and broken, just like you were. Yet I sought you out and cleansed you, washed you and made you whole again. Isn't that what I did for you?
Nodding, I held them tightly as I allowed the tears to fall. I too was battered and scarred. I had been abused and in turn had turned to alcohol. My girls were heart-broken watching their mother battle her demons.
When totally broken and about to lose all, Jesus called my name. He reached down and pulled me out of the darkness of the pit. Lovingly, He washed and began to restore me. It took time but slowly I began to heal. The girls healed watching me heal.
The love that Jacquie had put into creating those toads for me, spoke to me of the love God had when He created me. Yes, I believe He had allowed the circumstances into my life to happen, as they led me to Him. He took my filthy robes and exchanged them for robes of righteousness.
Holding them close to my heart I took them inside to begin a work of restoration. yes, it will take time but soon they will be restored to their full glory and once again hold pride of place in my bedroom. perhaps I will leave the foot broken as a constant reminder of how He takes the broken and makes it whole again.
Portion of a poem given to me by the Lord some years ago came into my mind.
"You have washed away the dirt and dross Your forgiveness flows over my soul I have been washed in your blood Clothed in my robes of righteousness You are my Lord and King I offer myself anew to you"