The other day I decided to clean up my desk(!) – it really needed it. I clean up my desk fairly often, but I manage to make it messy rather quickly. I start at the left and move to the right. Over on the right side is where I toss things that I have stamped for fairs or inventory (i.e. not for orders) and are in various stages of production – some stamped, some stained and polished, some fully assembled.

outsideAnyway, I was almost finished cleaning my desk when I found a beautiful guitar pick I had stamped that looked a bit odd along the edge. It was fully stained and polished, but something had happened along the edge, and I wasn’t sure if I could use it – I needed a closer look. I reached for it, but it held firm to the desk: rather odd. I dug my fingernail under the side and pried the pick up off the desk. The pick made a jingling sound as it detached from the wood and flipped over, landing on the back side. While the front had once been polished and beautiful, the back was black and even a bit corroded. I shook my head, surprised. Reaching to pick up the pick, pieces of it flaked off in my hand. I looked at the desk where the pick had been and realized some of my stain solution had spilled – not much, but enough to cover the bottom of my brass pick and completely destroy it. I looked at the pick, took a few photos (for this post) and threw it away.

backAfter thinking about it awhile, I realized how interesting this post could really be. I was just going to show you the pictures to show you how powerful my stain is, but then I realized how I feel just like that pick sometimes. I feel perfect and polished on the outside, but on the other side, I am falling apart, corroded, and stained. I am eaten away by the problems in my life, and it’s not until I talk about those that they can be dealt with and overcome (often with prayer). When the problems go on too long, they become bigger and bigger until the stain completely takes over – even eating its way through to the beautiful exterior I try so hard to keep in place, and the metal is lost. Originally a smooth piece of metal, later imprinted with letters, shapes and marks (experiences), the stain can define the piece, taking it over and consuming it, or the stain can be polished away, left only in the dents – just traces, but never consuming the beautiful metal that I started with.