My former neighbor, Pastor Dick Williams, has daily devotions called "Early Word," which you can receive if you contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His devotion from yesterday really spoke to me. He says that they've recently been staining and painting wood.
"When wood is painted the wood features are lost. The paint covers all and the paint can be a bright and glossy or dark and flat as you wish.
"Staining wood always leaves visible some of the wood qualities, like knots and grain. Different woods stain take stain in different says. Hard woods mostly reject it; soft woods absorb it.
"So how about you? Are you hard or soft when it comes to being 'stained' by God’s love? And do you prefer to be painted so that the real you is hidden, or stained, absorbing God’s love while letting some of the real you be visible to others?
"Like soft wood and receptive to God’s 'stain' would seem to be the ideal? The best place to nurture those qualities would be the presence of the Word and the sacraments and other “stained” believers.
"Will you have your stain renewed this week?"