My friend, Justine, recently started making tables out of pallets and wood she finds on the side of the road. She takes something that was useful before, maybe broken now or missing a slat, and creates a piece that is new, like a table or a desk. It’s still the same wood that was once used to haul goods from one place to another, working 18-hour days and helping shippers be so much more productive than they would be without that pallet. It’s also still the same wood that was destroyed over time by overwork and overuse, now only good for leaning on a dumpster behind the grocery store or throwing out in the ditch by the road for someone else to dispose of it.
What Justine does is bring this refused wood back to life. It doesn’t look the same, it doesn’t have the same exact purpose, but the beauty and the joy it can bring to its new owner have increased greatly by the time she’s done working.
I believe strongly in restoration of this kind. The old thing doesn’t just get back to working like it used to; but instead, by integrating old and new, it becomes something entirely different.
Restoration happens when your heart comes alive again. It happens when you start to dream again. It happens at the intersection of your story up until now and the story of who you could become. It happens when you become even more of who you are.
Next week I’ll start with the first of five qualities of life-giving rhythms. Before we go there together, take some time to do an inventory. Think about the parts of your body, mind, heart, and relationships that are worn out and broken down. Think of the pieces that could use some reinforcing or some mending, or maybe to be reworked altogether. What parts of your life are yearning for this kind of restoration? Where do you need to become new?
As you reflect, friends, take heart. Restoration, much like mystery, shows up even in your small but intentional steps toward wholeness.