Pictured here is a Ewer – which is a great fancy name for a pitcher. It is made from heavy brass by J Wippell and Co of Exeter, UK. Wippell’s have been supplying the church world with needed items since 1789. I do not know hold old this ewer is but I know it is old. It was given to me as a gift from a great friend and fellow Anglican Priest. It was already old beyond anyone’s memory when he obtained it. I love it – it was given as gift for use in the baptizing of Soldiers who came to Chapel and was used for the purpose at many baptismal services.
As you can see in the picture above vs. the picture of the baptism the ewer has been neglected. The brass has begun to show severe oxidation in some spots and must be tended to quickly before the surface is completely pitted. So yesterday I bought some metal polish and got to work on it. It is amazing how good the polished parts look compared to the parts still waiting to be polished. Not only that, the parts still waiting look worse than they did because now you can compare their darkness to the bright possibilities unveiled by the polish. Easy enough anyone would think – just get the rest of it polished!
Polishing the ewer is of course the obvious thing to do. That said it is not the easiest thing to do. It is BIG – take a look at the picture, I mean BIG – and the oxidation has already begun to “dig in” so to speak. It takes a lot of work to get those bad spots polished out. Even the spots that are simply tarnished take a lot of work to get them up to the golden shine of highly polished brass. Each small bit requires a big amount of time to get it to where you want it to be. Why – because of neglect. I have allowed the tarnish to set in and, apparently, it wants to stay. To get the entire thing polished to the point where I want it will take quite a while.
As a result I will be spending my nights polishing the ewer. Whether watching TV or doing something else that does not require my hands, I will be polishing at the same time. I do not know how long it will take but I am sure more than a few evenings will be dedicated to the cause. It would have been so much easier had I just done a quick polish job and touch up every time I used it. Once I am done it will not be carefully put away where it will be free of human hands and further tarnish. It was made to be used and it will be used. It is just that I will be more diligent in the future to polish between uses.
Recognizing that fact that it is easier to spot clean and quick polish with each use is pretty easy when it is regarding a piece of brass (or any other kind of regular maintenance). What about our lives? Every day we get up and go out into the world. It is where we are supposed to be – this is not a “separate ye selves” diatribe – we are supposed to be out and a part of the world around us. Being out in the world means that we will be exposed to all it has to offer – both good and bad. Some of the bad wants to get on us and stick to us.
Much like tarnish, the sin we pick up along the way wants to stick around. Too often we are not diligent to polish it off on a regular basis. As a result the tarnish of sin gets darker and darker. In the areas where it touches us the most it begins to turn to corrosion and cause pits within our lives. Left unattended that corrosion can cause terrible damage – sometimes to the point of not being repairable by anyone but the most highly skilled craftsman.
I realize I need more polish in my life. How about you? Prayer, worship, confession, repentance, the study of Scripture, and living according to His will made known to us in His Word are the polishes of life that used daily will keep us clean and bright. When needing to restore a shine they will remove existing tarnish and even remove corrosion. Furthermore, God is the most highly skilled craftsman – no matter how bad the corrosion is, no matter how entrenched any sin may be, no matter how much damage it has already caused, God can repair the damage and restore your soul.
I realize I need more polish in my life. How about you?