spiritual life

The nature of silver

“Every crowd has a silver lining.” P.T. Barnum, American circus entrepreneur

The fact our silver-cleaning method involves a puff of smoke at its start concerns me. This doesn’t stop us from boiling water, baking soda and aluCIMG5997_edited-1minum foil and dipping tarnished pieces into the mix, however. It just means we run the fan in the stove hood on high.

So high it’s hard to hear our “ooooh” of amazement each time a small cup or cream pitcher that has been handed down from here or there comes up nearly white from its annual washing. The “ooohs” are loud enough when we put the handful of shimmery bits on fireplace mantels in the dining room and living room, where they make even the bleak light of winter seem to dance.

Come mid-March, when the grass greens and crocuses lure honey bees out of their hives, the silver will already be slightly yellowed as we put it away. A mere two months on display and tarnish will have set in. By the time it’s brought out for New Year 2020, the pieces will again look like the photo in this post.

Tarnish. No puff of smoke or old-school polishing can stop it from coming back. Tarnish is, in fact, as much a part of the nature of silver as is that delicious warm glow.

We humans are much the same, you know. We can polish our minds. We can diet and exercise our bodies to buffness. We can improve ourselves and our circumstances in all sorts of ways. But, we cannot change our nature. Tarnish — our tendency to embrace sin and the soul death that inevitably follows — never really goes away.

At least not without help.

The Apostle Paul — who first shows up in scripture as an arrogant, murderous young man — knew how to get rid of our nature of decay. Hear what he said in 2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Old ways gone. All things new. A nature of renewal.

Is this ultimate resolution something worth both pondering and pursuing as we start 2019? I think it is and plan to do just that — all January long! If you’d like to join me, posts exploring this spiritual theme will appear on my mini-blog Fresh Mercy (found on my Facebook page @noraedingerbooks or simply by scrolling to the bottom of any JOY Journal page).

I hope to see you there! And, that your New Year will sparkle more brightly than even the most polished of silver!

 

 

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