I love rustic furniture! Not the mass-produced factory stuff. I like furniture that has lived. I like furniture that tells stories. To me, modern minimalist furniture tends to be a bit sterile.
You see, truly rustic furniture tells the story of those that have used it. Whether it is a dining room table, a bed head or some other piece. Lynne and I bought a whitewood, raw pine dresser just before we were married. In those days it was a relatively cheap purchase. We spent weeks estapoling it and sanding it and estapoling it again and again. Despite moving house numerous times, our children would not allow us to get rid of it; despite water damage, broken glass and broken hinges. This required some woodworking first-aid over the years. It wasn’t until it practically fell apart that we were able to dispose of it.
You see this piece of furniture held memories and stories that new furniture doesn’t. It contained the marks and water damage from a much loved fish tank, the marks and bangs from each move to a new house, the remains of stickers and merit certificates that told the story of our children’s education, along with numerous scars and dents from day-to-day life in the Hope household.
I love the feel of rustic pieces. Feeling for the dents and scars and the imperfections. Each dent, each scar, each imperfection tells a story.
People are the same. Scars tell their story. I have a number of scars on my feet that are the result of tropical ulcers I got while I lived in Papua New Guinea. Not only do they remind me of some really fun times, they also sparked my understanding of good first-aid.
Other scars remind me of riding my bike to school and falling off when I was knocked off my bike by a dog; not just once, but twice. A scar on my forehead is the result of running into a hills hoist as a toddler. Some scars that don’t show are the result of a surfing accident back in Year 6. While surfing over a reef, I was knocked off my board and dragged across the coral at a place called Paradise Beach. They remind me of the danger I escaped, especially the circling sharks, but also of the kindness of a young man who helped me to safety. Not all scars tell of bad things.
We all carry scars. None of us are “perfect”. Events of all sorts have left marks on us. Some good, some bad. If we are looking for people who are perfect we will be disappointed. In all of our relationships we are dealing with imperfect people. The Bible calls us to be perfect (eg Matthew 5:48), this is an imperfect interpretation. In this case we are to “be complete, even as your Father in heaven is complete.”
How much time do we waste looking for people who are perfect, rather than complete? People who are complete are those that let us in. They don’t try to hide who they are. They are honest and open. They are complete, not perfect just complete.