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A dusty old rocking chair sat in a thrift store. Paint and veneer peeling, wood scratched and weathered. It had had some serious use in its day. Now, abandoned and alone; for sale to a low bidder. Most pass by the lonely rocker unnoticed. The ones who do notice and give the chair a nudge hear the creak and groan, feel the wobble and uneven tilt and keep on going. It might have been beautiful once but that’s long past. Too much abuse and overuse to be worth anything now.

Until a man walks in one day, runs his hand lovingly over the slats, feeling each crevice of the etched wood. Carved no doubt with love and care, created for a purpose. The man smiles as he sees each nick and scratch, not bare and ugly but in its glory. He worries not about the loose wobble but tenderly sets the rock in motion, detecting the excellent craftsmanship.

The rocker is bought with the asking price. Worthless to the shop owner until the coin was placed in his hand, happy to have made the sale of this long forgotten piece. The purchase complete, the man takes the rocker home. No matter what the price of the rocker was—little or much—the value was not realized while the lonely chair sat dusty in the shop. It took someone willing to cover the expense.

The rocker was placed in the man’s own living-room, cleaned and polished. It was clean. No longer dusty or grimy but with the dirt fully removed, sitting on a nice warm rug instead of a cold cement floor, the rocker was now redeemed. Cleansed from the musky layers of dust, the wood showing so much potential. True, there were deep scratches, big splinters missing in places, but clean nonetheless and redeemed from its discarded, useless life of before.

The man was happy to contemplate the chair sitting in the corner. He could see the potential in his mind’s eye. He could picture the redeemed piece in its former glory as he traced his fingers over the carved back. He loved the chair and was happy to pay the cost and give the chair a new home. As he looked at the nicks and scars, he envisioned the tiny feet that kicked against the arms. He grinned as he saw in his imagination the hands that patted and rocked several generations. However, it wasn’t enough to understand the original purpose. It wasn’t enough to comprehend the events that battered and scarred the wooden slats. There was still work left to be done.

One day, the gentleman knew the time was right to start the process of restoration. If the chair had a mind, it would wonder why it was being removed from the cozy corner. “Why is he taking me off the wonderful, soft rug by the fireplace and out in the cold garage?” “Why am I being thrown from the house, out of sight?” “Maybe he realizes that I can’t be used…I’m broken, bent and wobbly, not fit any more.” Then, the man begins the work. First with sand paper, then removing splintered pieces altogether, rubbing, sanding, causing new abrasions. “Why? Why? Why is he doing this to me?”

Then…the tools. Taking pieces apart. “Now, I’m completely useless! Torn apart, laying here, you can’t even tell I’m a chair!” “I was purchased and redeemed, and now this doesn’t make sense why he has abandoned me! When he does come, it’s to remove more, sand more, open more wounds, pouring stuff in! I was looking pretty good there for a while by the fireplace, in the living room! Why was I banished and torn apart in this manner?”

But the man knows. He knows what the chair was created for. He knows the abuse and use it had gone through. He also knew the true worth even while sitting dusty with a worn price tag, ready for the first taker. He knew the place where the rocker would go, once clean and free of dust and grime. But he also knew the work wasn’t done until the chair was fully restored. He knew what it would take and set the pace of the task. Sometimes waiting for the glue to dry, sometimes re-sanding and filling in cracks, sometimes setting the clamps and leaving it for days. He wasn’t willing to settle at the purchase. He wasn’t ready to leave things as they were even after the redemption, but he desired full restoration for the relationship to be complete. Better than ever before. More sturdy. More beautiful. Functional and fully operational. Shining, loved, restored.

Occasional cleaning would still be done. Nicks and scratches still buffed out from time to time. Relationship. Continual care between creator and the creation.

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