May 24, 2021

A Prayer for Restoration

    One day two years ago, I stood on the porch of a crumbling house, the hoarding owner recently dead, and bargained with an estate-sale lady over an ancient, eight-foot-long church pew. Within moments I faced the next challenge: how to get the pew home in a tiny Prius? 

   I left my pew at the sale, with instructions to safeguard it until my return. Nobody paid any attention to me; the pew sat there, forlorn in the rain, its splintering structure suffering further the indignities of neglect, time, and abuse. 

    I sped over the bridge to home, to measure our Toyota Highlander. The pew wouldn’t fit. Moments later, as serendipity would have it, I ran into my neighbor Karen, who owns a truck. Everyone should have a friend who owns a truck. She offered to pick up the pew for me. 

   Last week, after two years standing on its side in my garage, the pew came down. I ran to Home Depot to buy a bigger sander, and I spent two days – with the able assistance of my youngest son – sanding the thing. One must pretzel oneself into all sorts of shapes to sand a long old pew, and I did, which resulted in some injury to these aging bones. The pew was looking far better, and I was the one covered in the dust and damage of its dereliction.  

    The next day, I went out to water plants in the garden. I bent over to get at the roots of a big, blooming bridal-wreath spirea, and my legs crumpled out from under me. They creaked. They cried out in agony over those same indignities of neglect, time, and abuse.

    My son, the backup sander, ran out of the house and dragged me in. He took off my shoes, because my body wouldn’t bend to do it myself. He brought me a glass of water. He called out to my husband for help. 

    I am hurting, it’s true. But like my old pew, parked on my porch, sanded and cleaned to a new beauty the years collectively bestowed, with a little care – a bit of stroking and soaking and icing and cautious use – these cranky bones will be as good as new.

   If you have a story of resurrection, write it, tell it, share it with me. I’d like to hear it. 

Friends and dear readers, if you’d like to share this blog with anyone, please do. No need to ask!

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