“Worthless” to a Work of Art

Torn Down FenceI had to take down a fence at one of my homes…it was the home that my grandparents moved into, brand new, back in the 1950’s when my grandfather got out of the military.  Eventually, when my grandparents died, my mom was given the house and lived there 19 years.  When she passed away in 2006, she gave it to me.  I decided to move into it recently.  The fence on the side yard needed to be torn down because it was old and in bad shape.  

I planned a day with the neighbor and together we were going to tear it down and rebuild it with new materials.  On the demolition day, it turned out the neighbor was not available. So, my brother and I were the demolition crew for this old and tattered fence. I thought, “how in the world can this be done” with just my brother and me.

Many thoughts immediately went through my mind:

  1. I had never done this type of work before?
  2. I’m not even sure if I have the right tools to do this?
  3. Am I even strong enough to do this?
  4. How long is this going to take?
  5. It was cold and rainy outside…will we get it done before it really begins to storm

I decided that I just needed to start! Continuing to think about it won’t take it down.  I got a hammer and I started pounding on the fence planks. I swung with a back hand swing (like a tennis play).  Because it was an older fence, some of the sections became very lose, very quickly.  And, some portions I had to really get the hammer and pry out the nails. I had to use the back portion of the hammer in a back and forth motion over and over to get the nails and fasteners loosened.  It was stuck in a few places. I had to use all of my might to pull out the nails.  Eventually, I did get them lose.  Once I got the fasteners removed, the section of the fence came falling down in a complete 5 ft section.  In addition to hammering, I had to kick the fence, like in a kick boxing class. This was a different way to use different strength.

Pile of "worthless" fenceDown came the fence!

As the fence pieces were falling to the ground. We separated the wood into piles in the backyard.  Some were 5 ft. sections, some were individual planks, and the rest were bits and pieces that broke off, splintered or broke in half and shattered.  But it all laid on the grass in a pile. The plan was to take it to the dump the following week.

I looked at the pile of broken and “worthless” wood on the grass that cold and rainy day.  I thought, Wow! That is so symbolic of life. When we face transitions, sometimes, we have to completely take down something in order to re-build or build a new…Something Fresh. 

I posted on my facebook page about having to take down the fence.  My former pastors wife saw my post and contacted me. She said they were looking for used fencing for a project the church was working on.  I told her she may not want the wood because much of it was old, tattered and discolored.  She said that was exactly what they were looking for.

A few weeks later she posted a picture on her facebook of the stage back drop for the churches new sanctuary. I was amazed at what I saw! It was an incredible display of craftsmanship and beauty.  I confirmed with her if some of the wood was from my yard.  I looked at it and felt proud. I felt proud and believe my grandma and mom would be happy that something of theirs, would be used for something to bring such joy to others. 

Work of ArtI looked at that stage backdrop and saw total transformation. I saw how something that was used and used up for nearly 70 years that was about to go into the garbage, could be used to make something new and so beautiful for others to enjoy. It had a re-purpose…it had a significance.

Transformation is a beautiful thing. Similar to a pile of used up wood, laying on the wet, rainy ground, seeming to appear to have lived out its course and purpose. But, someone saw something in it and made a beautiful piece of art. Oh, to think of all there is to do with your life, to make you a beautiful piece of art…To shine, to live, on purpose! The world is waiting for you, the world needs you, the world wants you. You are loved and you are amazing. Commit to your heart, your mind, your soul, all that is within you to making a change and it will happen. You are an over-comer and your transformation is just around the corner!