stainlessAs much as I enjoy using things with a “past,” like my grandfather’s magnifying glass, I have to admit that my grandmother’s silver chest remained in a basement closet, ignored.  I told myself it was because on those special occasions when I might bring out the good silver, I just don’t have time to polish it.

That isn’t the whole truth.

Part of it is also how her silver came to me after she died.  As is so often the case, we were cleaning things out and sorting. Who would get the silver?  The china?  The crystal?  Where is her dinner ring?

A female relative popped the chest open, then she pursed her lips. “You take it.  We don’t want it.  It’s just plate.”

As much as I wanted it, simply because it had belonged to my grandmother, now it somehow felt like it was worth less.  I was getting the discards.

Today, I was getting something else out of the closet and pulled down the chest.  Laying it on the freezer, I opened it up, amazed at the lack of tarnish.  I’m still not sure how it kept its polish because it’s been down there for over 5 years, but just seeing it made me smile.  At first I thought that we both had it wrong and that it might be stainless, but then I saw the label inside the chest.  Community Plate.

It might be plate, but it isn’t worth less.  Why?  Because as soon as I opened the chest, I remembered Christmas dinner, Easter, birthdays, the table always set with this flatware.  I remembered the love with which my grandmother opened up her home.

My grandmother was a deeply devote woman who made room in her day for her family, her friends, and prayer.  She often reminded me, that we are all forgiven, even the people who annoy me.  We have all been cleansed because of Christ.

I need to remember this as I go about my day, so that I don’t harshly judge the driver who ignores my right-of-way or the teens whose conversation is too loud in church.  I need to remember this as I remember the boy who bullied my son and the relative who only let me have something precious because she didn’t want it.

We have all been cleansed.  Because of Him, we are all stainless even when we aspire to be silver.