Junk or Treasure?

Garage sale signs pop up before the tulips in my part of the country. Along with the signs, people haul out their collections of unwanted, and no-longer-loved household items.

 We have a pile of “precious things” in our garage too. Stuff we don’t need anymore. Perhaps we never needed most of those things, come to think of it. I’d have a sale, but honestly, who would want our old junk?

Anyone need a Singer treadle sewing machine in good working order and nice shape? Unlike some of the things I’ve seen hunkering under plastic tablecloths and waiting for 8 am on a Saturday morning, it doesn’t even need refurbishing.

I watched a woman drool over an old footstool frame at one of my garage sales one year. It had legs, but no upholstery. She paid whatever I’d jotted on the sticky tag without bartering, and left hugging it. “I could make something of this!”she said.

 I’ve always wondered if she did “make something” of it. Or if it’s still waiting in her garage, like it did in mine (for at least seven years, I admit). Shame on me, but I have to be in the mood to fix up junk.

 I bought another bit of junk once. A mud-ugly antique lamp with dangly green prisms, an awful green globe, and two naked cherubs dancing under brass curly cues. Worst of all, it had a monstrous stovepipe shade, twice as tall and wide as the lamp itself.

  The owner wanted far too much. But I could make something of this, I thought. And that time, I did. After taking my prize home, I removed the green do-dads, cleaned it up and rewired it. Then I added a smaller black shade, which I’d decorated with gold braid and deep black fringe. Two decades later, the lamp is still shining—and I’m still fond of it.

 One person’s junk…goes the saying..someone’s else’s treasure.

 The recent movie, Blind Side, tells the true story of a young man some people thought of as junk. He thought that of himself, in fact. A throwaway boy. His own mother had moved without telling him where.

 A family picked him up off the streets and brought him home. They fed and clothed him, loved him, and saw that he got educated. Today that young man is like my Victorian lamp—a shining treasure, and a very big one. Michael Orr now plays football in the big leagues.

 Every day, most of us pass by someone who feels like junk—maybe even the person in the mirror. But listen closely. Hear that voice? “This is good stuff. I could make something of this,” God says. “Precious child, I want you. I love you. Just as you are. Come home. Come home.”

 Here’s the best part: unlike me, God is always in the mood to recreate, when we cooperate.


Gordon Gates and his factory workers turn trash into treasure too. Watch how scrap lumber becomes pews for overseas churches at: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=7KDZKLNX