5 The LORD is your protector;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not beat down on you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time and forever.
The tenacity of those objects impresses me. Even when abandoned, they
did not fade away. Trees grow through the porch decking, and yet the
house stands. Failing foundations make them curtsey and bow, but it
simply adds to the building’s charm. The rusty metal develops a beautiful
patina and a softness that is impossible to replicate in something new. I
feel an obligation to not just be nostalgic about their stories, but pay
homage to their past. In so doing, we can learn from their stories and
embrace their purpose for being a part of a community.
It is not just the relics that have a story. I believe that every person has a
holy story. Those rusty objects are simple reminders of that truth for me. I
had a pastor friend who would say to people he wanted to engage,
me a bit about your story.” It was so much more inviting than,
you “or “what do you do?” An invitation to hear someone’s story is to
value what has brought them to that moment, an opportunity to see
where our lives intersect.
You do not need to share my appreciation for rusty and dilapidated
objects, but I hope that each time you look into the eyes of any beloved
child of God, you see that he/she has infinite value and a story to tell. It is
a story that will enrich the teller and the hearer, but we must remember
that often the more worn and wizened the teller, the better the stories.
Oh God, who sees our foibles as beauty marks and our weariness as an
expression of perseverance, please give us the desire to see the splendor
in each other and the willingness to hear the story of those standing just
outside our circle, who are unnoticed and unseen. Amen