Old Things New

by Jenni

Last weekend, Seth and I were preparing for our first BBQ here at the farm. Friends had been invited, the grass was mowed, and the fridge overflowed with food. But I had one problem–no outdoor table on which to place all that good food to feed those hungry friends!

Sure, I could go out and purchase a table. I’d already made the rounds at the thrift shops and garage sales the weekend before with Mom, but to no avail. Our local Bi-Mart offered soul-less plastic tables for $50 that would do the job. But a better idea had taken hold of my imagination. A few evenings before, Seth and I were walking around the property when I spotted two old metal barrels in the horse corral. Partially buried in dirt and tumbleweeds, we hoisted them up to discover they’d been converted into horse troughs for hay, and then abandoned again. Layers of chipped paint and a patina of rust testified to their age and neglect…and gave them a unique beauty that appealed to my shabby-chic sensibilities. Could these old barrels hold the answer to my table dilemma?

Though perhaps a bit skeptical, my accommodating husband dragged them over to the house for me, hosed them down, and devised a plan for converting them into a table by attaching an old door on top via metal banding and wood screws.

The finished product is a perfectly serviceable, portable outdoor table that was 100% sourced from used materials right here on the property! Dressed with a  sunflower table cloth my mom brought back from Provence, the old-new thing looked downright charming.  While Seth was right about it being too tall for a dinner table, it was just the right height for setting out food: high enough to keep toddlers and nosey dogs out of trouble!

Isn’t there something beautiful in old things made new again? I get a satisfaction, a joy in finding a new use for something that had seemingly lost its usefulness. Maybe exercising the “renew and restore” side of our creativity is fulfilling because it reflects the heart of our Creator. My spirit thrills when I read Jesus’ words in Revelation 21:5, “Behold, I make all things new.”  My Greek commentary tells me that the word for “new” here can also mean renewed or restored. I like that about God–that He finds it worth His while to give new life to old things. That He will someday renew all things into something beautiful.

Meanwhile, I’m having fun on this old place, stumbling upon abandoned barrels, discarded doors, and other hidden treasures just waiting to be found again.