Word Of The Day: Veneer

Wednesday, 30 March 2005

I'm not talking about the sort that you find on furniture or car interiors. These are harmless things. Physical veneers which we come across on a daily basis serve to enhance the visual appearance of certain things, like tabletops. What kind of material should your table look like it's made of? You'll have a virtually limitless choice--maple, beech, pine, or perhaps even stone--made possible by the ready availability of veneers.

Now let's talk about veneers found on people. They can be harmless too, but if allowed to fester they can turn cancerous...explosive, even. I'll try to elaborate.

Emotional veneers, like furniture finishes, may not necessarily consist of the same material which form the underlying object which it covers. They don't posses the same inherent internal structures. Veneers can break, split, crack and splinter as a result of wear and tear--revealing the underlying material which forms the entire object, which may be unappealing and quite unlike its intial appearance when protected by its veneer.

From what I've observed in recent days, the result of an emotional veneer finally giving way can be spectacularly ugly. Revealed is the Truth of a person's thoughts in a fiery burst of anger, usually instigated by a feeling of insecurity and the suspicion that their veneer has been breached. Out come the mire-clad, destructive words which may be bent on intentionally hurting the begrudged party. Another's efforts to try to reason with that person glance off the now splintered, toxic shell that once held up a pristine front to present to the world.

On the other hand, once this kind of man-made veneer is fully stripped away, the person could possibly become a fresh canvas for the Divine to work with once more. We were created as His handiwork, His objet d'art. Wouldn't it be reasonable to think that in His patience and love, He does all He can to constantly renovate and refurbish His creation from the inside? Gone would be the need for those veneers, those false fronts, those lies--He wants to replace them with Truth and Love, which always go hand in hand. Try imagining the results of having one of those without the other accompanying it. It happens all the time.

So yeah. I hope I'll never look at myself one day and discover to my horror that I've actually built a veneer over myself subconsciously. Every day is a new challenge to be honest with God and myself. Every small victory won is an offering of praise to the One who enables all things.

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