Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, is an area both rich and diverse in culture.
One of the beautiful things about Philadelphia is the many sites it has to offer. At times, it is something I often have taken for granted being from the city itself. On occasion, I have taken a stroll into Center City. I observe so many people from outside the area, taking advantage of what the city has to offer. It makes me realize the beauty that exists all around me.
One of my favorite places to visit is the Philadelphia Art Museum. Of course, making it upthose steps is an adventure of itself. What I love about the Art Museum the most is the variety of art within the museum. What I have come to learn about art is that its value is placed by the one who has the perspective to see something within it. It has been my experience that I can be looking at a picture next to someone, and I hear them discussing what they see, and I think to myself, where in the world do they see that? Even hen someone else cannot see the beauty in that piece of art, it does not mean it does not exist. Where a painting may look like a splatter of paint on a canvas to one person, it may be the masterpiece of a lifetime to another. It is such a powerful reminder that despite how other people view us, our Father in Heaven has a perspective that sees us being righteous through the work of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:21 – God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
My favorite areas of the museum and pieces of art to look at are the restoration pieces. These pieces of art are the parts of history that were once so close to being destroyed, but through a restoration process were able to be brought back to life not only to be displayed but to tell a story. I just happened to further read up on the restoration process one day, specifically the restoration process of a painting and what it takes to restore a canvas. Although the art looks very close to being completely original, some pieces may have to be removed and added at times. The process led me to begin watching some clips from the television series, American Restoration. After watching some videos on the restoration process, it was amazing how precise the person behind the restoration was in addition to the patience it took to get the final product. What was rusted out, damaged, in the trash, and looked like it had no more functionality had significant value to the restorer. Through the process of time and reconstruction, what some people were willing to throw out and sell because of its lack of value in their eyes, has all of a sudden come back to life. How wonderful is it to know that God is willing to restore us despite whatever condition He finds us in.
Coming from a destructive past and understanding how people viewed me through their lens of perspective is an overwhelming feeling to realize that the Father can restore any piece of art that is placed into His hands. I was that piece of art that was so damaged in the eyes of others that I was basically discarded and through the work of Christ, God was able to begin restoration process. There is not a piece of art too damaged or to destructive to enter into His house and allow His artistry to take place in their lives.
God is the original “restorer” and through His work can be glorified by restoring one to His loving child. I have found that just like in the show American Restoration, the restoration process does not take place overnight, and it is a lot that needs to take place over time. God knows what needs to be chiseled out and what needs to be replaced in one’s life. Paul reminds us in Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. The work God does in our lives will be done continuously. Each person will have their own restoration process with God, and He is faithful to continue work on each of us until the return of his son.
The restoration God brings us through is something I think is hard to comprehend at times. When I look back at the damaged canvas, I brought to him, and what he restored, it is undeniably amazing. It is not amazing because I doubt he could restore me it, it is incredible that he would choose to do it out of His love for me. Joel 2:25 25″I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten- the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm- my great army that I sent among you. Spurgeon says, “you cannot have back your time, but there is a strange and wonderful way in which God can give back to you the wasted blessings, the unripened fruits of years over which you mourned. The fruits of wasted years may yet be yours.” As God continues to bring us through the restoration process and mold us into the masterpiece that he views us to be, what was eaten away, God seems to restore with a plan even better.
So I ask, what has God restored in you lately?
– Frank D.