“Whose car is that?” I asked without giving any detail as to which one of the thirty cars in the lot I referred.
“Don’t know, it was abandoned, we towed it in a few days ago,” he replied without looking up from his desk. “No title on record.”
“Can I buy it?”
“Do you want it?”
1950′s pasty baby blue mostly rust-free exterior, completely rotted out interior upholstery, several pieces of body chrome haphazardly strewn in the back where a massive bench seat once rested, it was a nearly 17 foot long, 1,500 lb., um, project.
$150 for the tow and I was the proud owner of my own piece of Detroit.
My wife, to her credit, did not express out loud any objection. She did ask what I was going to do with it, but only nodded attentively and politely as I gave her my vision of what the car would look like after our son, Ryan, and I were finished ripping the poor vehicle completely apart and putting it back together again. A few pictures of what other industrious, and far more talented, fellows had done to their ’55 Chieftains and excitement was actually beginning to build at our home.
It was an insane notion. What possibly could be wrong with an otherwise fairly reasonable human being to deliberately desire to restore a massive piece of junk some one else literally threw away?
I believe the whole urge to restore is actually one of the myriad of “thumbprints” God puts on us, marking us as His creation. Restoring the abused, broken, obsolete, forgotten, abandoned, unsightly, and rejected is just the sort of work God does moment by moment.
Jesus exulted in it. He said crazy things like,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18, ESV)
But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you… (Luke 14:13–14, ESV)
…the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up and the poor have the good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.
So much more. God’s work is not satisfied until all that can be restored is restored, even re-created. This message is one followers of Jesus are commanded to proclaim, “There is forgiveness of sin for those who repent in Jesus’ name!” and “The Son of Man [Jesus] has come to seek and save that which was lost.”
This is the focus of our preparation for celebrating Resurrection Day (Easter) this year at Main Street. Week by week we will gather and learn more about what it means to restore and be restored.