Back in my uni days, I studied among other things, physical anthropology. We looked at slide after slide of archaeological sites, of pot shards and ceramic fragments. We studied piles of these shards in class. And even now if I come across a piece of broken pottery in the ground, it makes me think of the history it represents. The stories of it’s use, of how it was broken.
When I was a child I remember clambering around in the mangrove mud at Port Albert, near the site of where my great great grandfather had a boat building business. I found an old iron (the kind that was heated on the fire). Well rusted and worn, but still identifiable, and I still have it sitting in a box in a cupboard.
Yes, the broken, vintage things of yesteryear can be very beautiful to us. They hold memories, sentiments and stories.
But even more than the brokenness, I love restoration. I love to see what was broken returned to it’s former glory. Although, most often, items are conserved so not to break down further, as opposed to actually being restored.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
12 Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. Isaiah 58:11-12
The Lord is our ultimate Restorer. His heart is to see the waste places in our lives rebuilt. To repair. To heal. And He gives us a heart to desire to see this happen in the lives around us. And calls us to minister in restoration.
When we feel broken, dashed to pieces, we are not forgotten. We are not left trodden into the dirt. When we are experiencing drought, that is not the resting place for our lives. We are not a ceramic vessel, but a vessel of honour. Made and crafted by God. Loved by God. Cherished by God.
If you are experiencing drought, or even feel that all is in ruins,
I pray the Lord will guide you, that you will be strengthened, that the waste places will be rebuilt. That you would encounter the Restorer.
Beauty will flourish again!