Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Re: re-

OK, I know that's a weird blog title--let me know if you come up with a better one after reading this post!

I've just been thinking a lot about "re" words lately and how much I like them. Lovely words like: refresh . . . renew . . . restore . . .recreate . . .recommit . . .rebuild . . .repent

And, of course, the buzz-word of our era: recycle!

"Re" is the prefix of the second chance--it simply means "again." There are lots of "re" words in the Bible (I'm going to be lazy and not look up all the references, but you'll get the drift):
He will rebuild the old waste places, Jesus will come and restore all things, God will send us times of refreshing, repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Of all the "re" words, I think restore is my favorite. It means to "bring back to the original condtion." I've never been a crafty person, but I've always loved restoring furniture and other old things. My first project was a table and four chairs my neighbor had hauled out to the curb on garbage day some 25 years ago. My cheapo dining table was falling apart at the time, so I snuck over to investigate. The set seemed sturdy and in good shape except for some surface wear and tear. So I drug it home, sanded and repainted all the pieces--and I'm still using it to this day (it's been repainted several times and is currently in need of a fresh coat--but it's still structurally in great shape).

Another "re" word that has intrigued me lately is repurpose. It means: "to use or convert for use to another format." So, instead of restoring something to it's original condition or purpose, repurposing involves granting something--or someone--a new destiny, so to speak. Kind of like what I do with the journals I'm currently creating.

I take old books, fading away on thrift store shelves or being overtaken by mold in damp garages, and give them new life. I clean them, remove the covers and a few of the more interesting pages, add blank or lined paper (mostly from recycled sources) and bind it all together again. Voila'! The time-worn children's book becomes a hip journal. The antique book of sermons becomes a diary for the inspired. Discarded books of every shape, size and subject (hopefully) become desired objects when I'm through with them.

So, which is better? For something to be restored to its original purpose or to be converted to fulfill a different purpose?

Oddly enough, in my own life, I sense the Lord is doing both these days. . .