I used to be a bench jeweler.
If you’ve ever purchased a piece of jewelry and it wasn’t the right size, or it was broken and needed repair, then you know that a jeweler is the only one that can alter or fix that piece so that it doesn’t depreciate in value.
Some of the pieces I worked on were exquisite and made from only the best materials… different and unique pieces were my favorite.
They always caught my attention and I always wanted to know their story.
I have a curious mind, so as I would work on the piece I would make up elaborate stories of its past. Who owned this piece? What were they like? Is it an heirloom?
So many times I didn’t want to do the work for fear I would mess it up worse… Or I felt under-qualified to complete the type of repair that it needed.
But, I always knew there was a craftsman in our shop who could handle the repair… I just needed to get it to the right person.
In the beginning of the process; there is always a cutting away.
The jeweler will remove the jagged edge of the break, he will smooth the edges, then he will add or take away what he sees fit.
Next comes the heat. It’s the only way the two halves will become one again. Under the heat the metal is melted and the strength of the bond is tested. It can be a finicky process because it needs enough heat to melt it; but too much heat is applied and more damage is done.
By this point the piece of jewelry is nearly unrecognizable. It looks clunky and distorted. It’s misshapen and, to some, would probably look lost forever.
But, then comes the refining process…
It is hammered out; to be the correct size and shape.
It is filed; to remove the excess, unnecessary, portion of the addition.
It is sanded; to smooth and make safe to wear.
It is polished; to make shine like new.
Looking back, I can see the times where I’ve needed to allow the Lord to be the craftsman of my life. I needed to open myself up to his cutting away, his heat, and his refining process.
I once was a very weak and broken girl.
A girl longing to see the value she carried… but blinded by her imperfections.
A girl aching for more… but not feeling strong enough to accomplish it.
Now, I look at unique and wonderful people in my life and I allow my curious mind to wonder about their stories. How did they get here? Where will they go now? Who will they take with them?
And I wonder if they know that all they need is to ask the greatest craftsman of all to handle them through their process. To recreate them into the fine piece of work that they were intended to be.
I learned a lot during my time as bench jeweler – but one lesson that has stuck with me is this:
In the hands of the right craftsman, anything that is broken, can always be fixed.