So What If It’s Old? In Praise of Worn-Out Things

So What If It’s Old? In Praise of Worn-Out Things February 11, 2019

I held it in my hands. The checkered blue pattern was familiar, but the lines were blending into each other. There were holes in the elbows and another near the tail.   I pushed my face into the soft fabric and smelled the faded memories.

I can’t get rid of this shirt.

It was one of those medium-weight shirts, a wool Pendleton that I’ve had for 20 years. It’s the kind you wear on a cool autumn evening or a spring day when the sun beats down on the streets steaming from the melted snow.

In that shirt I had run to the store – a dozen times, probably more — to get a gallon of milk, or flour or diapers. In that shirt, I had shoveled the walk after a dusting of snow and brought in another load of wood.

In that shirt, I had held my son close after he fell off his scooter. Wrapped in its soft folds I did chores and sat around the fire trying to warm the living room. In it, I held a sad face of another son, tears soaking into its seams. Another stupid thing I said or did, trying to make it all better.

It’s worn. It’s served it’s purpose. This time, it might be beyond repair. So what if it’s old.

And as I look around, there are other things. A table with nicks from the kids, crashing trucks into the spindles. And I have a car with more miles I think than it would take to drive to the moon.  There’s a worn-out hammer, the same one my dad swung for all those years.

So what if they’re old

I look in the mirror. Wrinkles formed around my eyes. I could blame the weather, or stress, or the angry stares of those who know no grace. I feel my knees, scraping together sinew on sinew. Things aren’t the way they were.

So what.

My wife put a patch on the elbow and tucked in the loose strings. Thank goodness. It could be saved. Kind of like the rest of me.

Thank goodness I have a God who loves me, and when I offer all my excuses of why he should just move on.

He says, “So what!”

In praise of the worn-out things. There’s still life left

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