Tonight when I cleaned and polished my new finds, I was pleased with how well and how easily they cleaned up. As I dried each fork and spoon and knife I began to recall how "polishing the silver" is a chore often mentioned in old books but is one my children never have to think about. For while I enjoy having this silverware to put out for special occasions, our day to day use is entirely the good old stainless steal that needs no polishing. Other than washing, it is pretty maintenance free.
So why, I wondered, do I prefer so many things that are NOT maintenance free (like this lovely silverplate that requires polishing to stay lovely). And it hit me. Maybe because I identify with it. I need maintenance too. Just like my favorite cotton shirts. There are shirts that never need ironing in my closet, but I really like the feel of the ones that are 100% cotton- you know the kind that get wrinkles the moment the dryer stops.
A silver spoon, left in the drawer, will tarnish and darken. A cotton shirt, left at the bottom of the clothes basket, will rummple and wrinkle. And a girl, left to her own devices and her own efforts, will tire and change courses and forget what her mission is. Trust me, I know.
I also know that with a little spit and polish and elbow grease that same girl can have her tarnish cleaned off and her shine come back. But what I know the most is where I have to go for that "cleaning treatment". Straight into the arms of my Heavenly Father. He was there all along, ready to polish me up and iron out exactly where and when I got dirty and wrinkled.
Tonight I think I will put a cotton tablecloth on the table, after I iron it of course, and use the new silverplate, which I just polished, to set it for dinner. Yes, it will take more effort and time, but then again real stuff always does. And it is worth it. Are you feeling a little dirty or wrinkled? There is only one place to get clean and get pressed.