"God creates everything out of nothing - and everything which God is to use He first reduces to nothing." ~~ From 'A Keirkegaard Anthology'
This quote kept going through my head yesterday as I sanded our bedraggled wooden screen door in preparation for a bright new protective coat. I was certainly reducing the finish to nothing. It looked really ugly, at first glance, the varnish sticking in places, disappearing in others.
The grains of the wood began to rise up as I continued to carefully sand. As I exposed more of more of the surface I realized anew its intrinsic beauty. The grain was lovely, wide and red here, narrow and white there, a gorgeous, dark knot up there. I slowly ran my hand over its smooth surface pausing to examine it further.
"If only the weather wouldn't destroy this door it'd look fantastic hanging on the front porch in its natural state," I thought to myself.
But the weather would destroy it in time, darkening it with mildew, rotting its edges, and normal wear and tear would bang it up.
Knowing this, I set out to create a durably finished door, one that can efficiently and beautifully stand the test of time in a harsh environment. The grain still shows underneath the finish while the vulnerability is decreased. It is better for the door and better for those of us in need of its function for me to care for it as I do, while honoring its uniqueness.
Beauty and function.
Protected, yet exposed.
People and doors.
Reduced to nothing only to be made stronger.