I have been working on a restoration and gilding job for some months now. It’s been start and stop because of life events, but also because of unexpected problems that pop up in the work itself. Close to completion a few weeks ago, I rushed the final finish and ruined it. I did it. No one else. I cannot blame anyone else for the stupid mistake I made. And so, with a heavy sigh, I had to take off all I had worked on and start all over again. There was resignation as I realized there would be no profit on this project.
As I was meticulously picking out crud from some crevices with a dental tool, my thoughts turned to spiritual restoration. While it may be hard to fathom, this fastidious process is quite relaxing and meditative. I put on music, and just start to work. Since it will take some time, I don’t hurry and just go inch by inch cleaning the surface, preparing to start again. The thought struck me that this might be a picture of how patiently God works on the restoration of our lives.
Slowly and painstakingly, He works in our lives. His patience is astounding and He doesn’t mind starting over and over again, as often as it takes. Be honest, how often have you gone through something and not learned from it? I cannot count the number of times this has happened to me. I suspect that I’m supposed to learn something from caring for my in-laws that I missed when I was caring for my mother but the lesson keeps eluding me.
Fortunately, He’s not nearly in the hurry we are to complete the process. That may be because He wants relationship. “Come, let us reason together,” He says. “Let’s hurry up and get this done,” I say. I want results. This explains why I keep going around the same mountain – similar to the Israelites when they left Egypt.
I have no words of wisdom, nor thoughtful insights to offer on this. But I think I just got a glimpse into the heart and mind of God. He really loves process. It’s a way to slow us down and engage us. If only I would pay closer attention.
Donna Kemper put aside her art career to care for a mother she hadn't seen in over a decade. For seven years she followed her mother's journey into dementia, caring for her and putting forgiveness into action.