It was dirty, rusted and completely unusable.
I walked right by it, heading straight for the table of loose tools and shop gadgets.
But then, my eyes drifted back, drawn by the shame of its condition. Like a lookey-loo on the freeway, gawking at the wreckage, I just had to look at it’s condition.
It was an Underwood typewriter, the kind that my grandmother might have used at her factory secretary job Or the kind that reporters used to bang out their news stories, one letter at a time. It was the kind that the would-be writer would clackity-clack pour their hearts and souls, wondering if anyone would ever understand.
|Photo by David Rupert|
What had happened?
Was it lost, buried in a pile of rubble? Was it left outside to the ravages of nature, it’s case exposed to the winter’s snow and spring rains? Was it forgotten in an old garage, home to mice that ran across the keys and spiders’ webs to build?
It was wretchedly abused.
But someone had found a little value in it, even as an oddity. And rather than deposit it in the green dumpster in the alley, it now sat on the same table as porcelain dishes and old magaznes and late night television exercise contraptions still in their boxes. This once glorious instrument was now nothing more than another piece of junk at a garage sale.
Broken. Unusable. Despised.
Three dollars. That was the price. Really, even that was too much for something completely disabled .
But it needed to be rescued.
How many love letters were tapped out on its keys after the girls were put to bed and the radio with it’s news of soldiers marching in foreign lands was turned off.
How many novels were started, with halting dark-and-stormy-night first lines typed, then pulled out in frustration and thrown away?
How many recipes were copied, each letter copiously typed so the muffins would turn out just right for Sunday dinner?
How many sermons were written, heavy sighs expelled over it’s metal case, wondering if anyone would hear, if anyone would care?
The degenerate typewriter holds a thousands stories of love found, and love lost. Of hope and brokenness. Of dreams and joy.
It was worth nothing really in its current condition. But in my eyes it was worth everything.
I picked it up, heavy in my warms, as I walked to the car. I looked down and the dirt and rust were all over the sky blue shirt I wore. I smiled.
So this is how grace works.
Joining up with Graceful’s Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Saturday. Read other posts here.