No. 78 - 15th April 2018

Back in the early 1980’s I got interested in buying old antique furniture at auction and doing it up myself. One of the things I bought was an old writing box which opens up to give you a sloping surface to write on. Well this one was covered with a wonderful swirling design of Birds Eye Maple and Rosewood marquetry. It was in a terrible condition. The corners and the edges were all damaged. The veneers had bubbled and were peeling off in places. And the inside was a total mess. So, I had to find lots of matching pieces of veneer that I could repair it with. I ironed out the bubbles. Replaced the missing bits of the design, and gave it a few coats of French Polish until it came up with a lovely deep shine. It actually cost me £3 at auction and it’s still sitting in our living room, looking like a rather exotic piece of antique furniture. However, when you open it up, the lid just comes away because I couldn’t find a pair of hinges that would fit properly. The writing surface and all the bits for the inside are just lying loose in the box. Inside, it’s still a complete mess. Jesus had a name for people like that. He called them hypocrites and whitewashed sepulchres. On the outside, they look great, but inside they’re full of death and decay.

Another piece I bought was a beautifully inlaid, mahogany nursing chair. The cushioned seat was falling apart and two of its legs were broken. I paid £15 for it. Then repaired the legs, gave it a new seat cover and polished it up. Well, it still looks beautiful almost forty years on. It was a wreck of a chair with huge potential that was brought back to life. That’s what restoration is all about. It’s like seeing the potential in a really damaged person and restoring them to their original beauty.

Jesus was once caught in a trap between a man with a withered hand, and a group of Pharisees who were waiting to see if he would break the law by healing someone on the Sabbath. For them, that was the real crime. ‘But Jesus looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand”. And the man stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. The Pharisees were furious and started discussing what they could do about Jesus. The thing is, that same Jesus actually wants to restore my life as well. The question is, am I up for it? Now that’s the real question.

Share via email