Restoring the Lamps, Part Two

Lamps Under Renovation.


It’s Saturday morning and the day overflows with what-could-be. I clear the remnants of yesterday’s living from the kitchen island, make space for a project. My project.
I’m going to return these old lamps to usefulness. Rich will supervise, of course, because I’ve never rewired a lamp before. He assures me it’s simple, but I don’t want to burn our house down in the flames of my own pride.

So I cough up humility ask him to show me. He smiles, and he shows me how the pieces fit together to give light. A few of the old fittings are settled so tightly onto their threads, after decades coupled, that my weak hands cannot part them.

He helps me, this strong husband of mine. Then he leaves me space to work, to learn, as I disassemble the lamps. He understands that I need to do this thing, to return these relics of my grandparents’ home to life. 

I realize that in my head, I can’t separate their home from their marriage. I scoop that thought up, hold it wriggling in my mind for a moment, then release it to swim on downstream. 
I’m thinking about these old lamps who stood watch in my grandparents’ living room for so many decades. They witnessed my grandmother’s abrupt death, right there in her easy chair, working the crossword puzzle on a Friday morning. I imagine that on that last overflowing Saturday of her life, she didn’t guess that there would be no more. And I see the blessing in her innocence. 
It feels like a gift to our union, bringing these lamps to our bedroom. These lamps illuminated love long before we knew one another. Their resurrection says, “your marriage is sound. It deserves these lamps.” These old lamps, they know a thing or two about lighting the way of hearts. 
As I disembowel the lamp, I make a dazzling discovery.
Old Cord, Brittle. Old Cord, Supple. 

The visible length of cord, as anyone can see, is brittle, discolored, untrustworthy.

But the cord the lamp has sheltered within for all these years remains fresh and flexible. The years have not managed to wear it, to rob it of its resiliency. 
Now it’s time to to tighten on the new fittings, and my hands are weak. So again I call for my husband, and again he comes and he helps me. As he reaches for the screwdriver, I rest in the certainty of his response to my need.

We fix a bulb in the socket, plug in the lamp, flip the switch, and in this light I see:

Faith is our bastion. It shelters our marriage as surely as the lamp shielded the cord from the ravages of the world. 

8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
I Thessalonians 5:8-11 (NASB)