Love our City – Restoration – The Woman in Red

In 1618 a painting was created of a woman from the Constable family. In order for the painting to be preserved the people of the day covered the painting in a thick layer of varnish. This left the painting dull and bland for around 200 years, until Philip Mould was commissioned to restore the work back to its original glory. He painstakingly removed the varnish and showed the world what the original looked like 200 years prior, the way the original artist intended for the work to be.

This restoration process took an incredibly long time to complete with Philip spending around six months to just restore 2.5cm of the painting … the painting is 110cm x 90cm big … gasp face emoji!

Philip wasn’t the person who created the artwork nor was he the person that destroyed the artwork but he had been given an opportunity to restore the creation back to its complete and original beauty.

So restoring something back to the way it’s creator originally intended it takes more than just a minute. It takes behind the scenes prep to understand what the original would have looked like, type of paint used and type of technique that was applied. It doesn’t only take time, but takes a huge amount of resources & courage to even just start the process. The person doing the restoration could also face a huge amount of ridicule & questioning around their methods. But at the end, if done carefully & lovingly the creation can be restored back it its original beauty.

When it comes to justice, that’s our job. To restore people back to their original beauty, back to the way our Creator intended them to be. We may not have been the one to perpetrate an injustice towards another person but it is still our job to bring restoration when we see an injustice taking place.

Jesus is our perfect example of what it means to restore. He did absolutely everything out of love for each person that he encountered, even the ones that betrayed Him. He did everything even with the knowledge of what bringing restoration to the world meant. To bring restoration back to humanity it would cost Jesus His life, it would cost Him everything. He was perfect and did nothing to perpetrate injustice and yet He laid His life down so that we can benefit and live in freedom from sin.

The tough heart question here is, can we do that for our generation? For people who have gone before us causing injustice in our society, are we able to change the narrative we are all so used to? To give even though we weren’t the ones to take away?

Brett & Claire Jones