This is the week for yard sales. We participated in a family yard sale last Saturday at the home of my wife’s sister in Brockton and we will participate in a church yard sale tomorrow with our neighbors of the Ashmont-Adams Neighborhood Association in Dorchester. There are many aspects of yard sales that I do not enjoy – cleaning the stuff, pricing the stuff, lugging the stuff onto the yard, and lugging the stuff at the end of the day somewhere other than back in the building. Yet there is one thing about yard sales that is endearing, even wonderful – the redemption of something discarded by someone who sees intrinsic value in that no one else wants. Someone who can fix that broken toaster that has been sitting in a box in the cellar for years will buy it for a buck or two and restore it to use for a profit. Everyone wins.
Redemption is big business today. Perhaps it all started with “Antiques Roadshow”, when people began thinking of their junk as a prized piece of history, but it has developed into a dozen shows on TV – Storage Wars (LA and Texas), American Pickers, Pawn Stars (Las Vegas and Cajun), Barter Kings, Storage Hunters, etc. – where ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. Perhaps that yard sale find is actually a rare and valuable treasure just waiting for you to discover its worth.
I love these stories of redemption, but the greatest trash to treasure reclamation project wasn’t at a yard sale or on a TV show. The greatest account of redemption is found in the pages of Scripture. It begins with our perfect Creator designing and assembling us in perfect working order to accomplish His perfect purposes. It continues with our slow but steady decay and corruption due to misuse, contamination and maltreatment through our interactions with the world. It proceeds to where we become inoperable, broken and discarded by those around us and seen as worthless by even ourselves. It concludes with our perfect creator sifting through the ‘junk’, recognizing His handiwork and the immeasurable value of His original work, and buying us back with the sure and certain goal of restoring us to our intended condition to accomplish our intended purposes. Now that is a wonderful thing!
Yard sales may not conjure in the minds of every individual the reality of a Creator who is still going about seeking the redemption of His unrecognized treasures, but that’s what will be going through my mind tomorrow. Perhaps we will see you there – and maybe you can take one of the ‘as is’ dehumidifiers in the corner of the front yard when you go.