We're on a family hike, and we come upon a field with a fence and a little wooden sign. It says, "Restoration in Progress."
We know that means it's been recently seeded and carefully tended to bring it back to how it is supposed to be. But it's not itself quite yet. We're therefore supposed to leave it undisturbed. We tread carefully, touch carefully, and leave it with as much peace and time as it needs to become itself again.
My husband and his friend take a picture right next to the sign to refer to themselves as still under restoration. We all are; we're not quite ourselves as we wait for God to perfect us, to make us ever more like Jesus, and to work what is pleasing to Him in us. One day, we'll be restored to our true beauty.
Everyone is a case of restoration in progress, so we interact with other hearts carefully, disturbing as little as possible, offering peace and time, and careful tending. We imagine the beauty that's underneath and that's surely coming in due time.