Monday, July 10, 2006
When the going gets tough, the tough polish silver
OK -- it may not work for everybody but on the off-chance it'll work for you, I'm throwing it out there: polishing some silver is a works-for-me antidote to the powerless, helpless, nothing-I-do-ends-up-making-any-difference blues.
But since it is admittedly an option ripe for attacks of class-based assumptions before I get any of those in the comment section let me be perfectly clear: I recognize there are lots of people who live full, productive and fabulous lives who don't have old silver gathering dust begging to be polished. In which case, this will not work for you.
However, on Saturday afternoon when I was juggling writer's block with a sermon deadline looming ever closer, post-convention stress syndrome exacerbated by our diocesan clergy "debrief with the bishops" meeting Saturday morning and mother's angst over my son's departure this week for deployment to Kuwait with his U.S. Army unit I ditched it all and dug out the silver polish.
And an hour later the sermon still wasn't written, the Anglican Communion was still a mess and Jamie was still packing his duffle bag but by God, I had shiny candlesticks. And picture frames. And fruit bowls, tea trays and serving bowls. And I thought how amazing it was that those dull, gray, dusty bits of metal that had been sitting there doing nothing-in-particular an hour before were now gleaming in the afternoon sun on the sideboard. And what it had taken was a little time, a littel elbow grease, a little silver polish and a little faith that under all that tarnish was something worth the effort.
Maybe that's the lesson ... whether you have silver to polish or not. That underneath all the tarnish of our broken relationships, hurt feelings and failed initiatives -- foreign AND domestic -- there is stuff worth saving ... worth nurturing ... worth restoring: in this church, in this communion, in this country. It's worth a try.
And if I'm wrong, well -- at least the silver is polished.