|The back two items are still awaiting their polish...|
As I scanned each table (most likely looking for vintage teacups and linens), I stood by a woman who was gently picking up the most beautiful bird figurines I think I've ever seen. We talked about how pretty they were and I continued on my way looking for treasures but we ended beside each other to pay for the items we chose.
The woman apologized that it was taking awhile, for she had decided to purchase all the bird figurines and the ladies were carefully wrapping each one. I remember I had plenty of time so we chatted as she waited. She told me she had always wished she had inherited pretty things, heirlooms from past generations.
She often felt sorry for herself that she didn't. But when she looked at these birds that she fell in love with, she asked herself why she couldn't start with another woman's collection. Purchasing all the figurines (and they weren't cheap even at a yard sale) was her gift to herself... the beginning of her heirlooms.
I can't tell you how many times through the years I was happy God let me be there when she had her epiphany. For it sparked one in me, too. But I didn't realize how much until a couple years later.
I was wandering through a store which sold antiques, vintage items, and a variety of folk art made by local crafters. I don't recall why I had stopped by the store that day but as usual I enjoyed just walking amongst each area, thinking of how an item would look in my home and checking prices.
When I came upon a beautiful but badly tarnished silver tea service. It reminded me of the beautiful silver I loved to look at in the pictures of the old Victoria magazine. I always stopped to appreciate the look of the silver and how it had the affect of jewelry in an elegant setting. I wished I had inherited silver...
But neither my parents nor my in-laws were the entertaining-with-silver types. Neither was to the manor born. Although both mothers appreciated beautiful things, I'm certain both also considered silver too pretentious. I, too, considered it above my standard in life. I also thought it beautiful but for those who lived in very large mansions.
So when I saw the silver set, I was curious enough to check the price. The entire set including the large silver platter it set upon was only $25.00. Most likely because it was quite tarnished.
My thoughts instantly went to that estate yard sale and the words of my standing-in-line companion. Why not let the heirlooms begin with me? So that day I bought silver and added silver polish to the grocery list. The set polished beautifully and since that time, I have added a few pieces for just dollars from Goodwill and thrift stores.
For you see... there is a beginning to every heirloom. Each item was either made or purchased by one who loves Beauty. Whether a quilt hand-stitched by a prairie farm wife, precious wedding china, a fine china teapot, a vintage vase, a first edition of a favorite author, or a knitted sweater.
Don't ever think you are not worthy of heirloom quality. For you are much loved by God and we know there is One with great carpentry skills contracting a home for you in Heaven... filled with Beauty.
Oh, my friend... it is wrong to covet riches and all the stuff the world has to offer. But you were created with a longing for Beauty. And when you ask Him to become part of the Journey.... well, He knows this thrift store that has just what your heart desires sitting in the back on a dusty shelf for a few dollars.
Really. He does. It has happened to me.