Early this summer the house where I lived from my birth until marriage was taken apart from the rafters to the foundation to make way for a new house. I was invited to come and walk through once last time and then after the work of the excavator was finished, I walked among the ruins searching for bits of nostalgic items that I might save.
In the cellar I found a dozen glass canning lids that were layered in years of dirt and broken shards of jars. I gathered them as though they were a rare archeological fossil and took them home to soak in hot soapy water before I scrubbed through the hard clay to reveal the treasures linking me to my childhood.
Several weeks later my brother Ken came over and held out this bowl to me. It was cracked nearly through in several places and covered with crazing. "I found this in the cellar and I thought you should have it"... he said. Like the glass canning lids the bowl had been caked with dried mud and clay and he had uncovered his own memories of our Mom using that bowl as he cleaned it.
The bowl was before my time. I remembered Mom having a set of Pyrex bowls in the primary colors but had never seen this bowl. For more than sixty years, that bowl has laid in the cellar that was not ever used again after the flood of 1948. It was put there in a time when things were not easily discarded to the garbage. I wonder at her reasoning for saving it from total destruction.
I imagine, it once held cookie dough and pie pastry and most likely some of my Mom's tears. She will have prayed while she worked in her kitchen preparing meals for her hungry family. The bowl is now safely sitting in a place of honor, reminding me of the one who washed it most often. The value of the bowl is not significant to others, but only to me and yet I wouldn't trade it for a rare piece of fine china.
I was reading in 2 Timothy this week and was struck by verse 21 and 22. I read it in a few different translations to understand how I could apply God's word to my new/old bowl.
If I want to be a willing vessel to serve and bless others, it is important that my heart is right before the Lord so that I can be used by him. I can look like I have it all together on the outside and no one would know the selfish, disobedient places in my life but when I confess those before God and live in obedience to his word, he can use me to be a blessing in service to others.