Trash, Treasures, Road Salvage and Salvation

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins  . . . 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved– ( Ephesians 2:1,4,5).

The old axiom goes, “one man’s trash is another person’s treasure. . .”  This was lived out for me by my father, who, in his over three decades as a highway patrolman has perfected an art he refers to as “road salvage.” Since the majority of the time on his job has encompassed the endless driving of the roads of Mississippi, he has found many items ranging from straps to keep things on vehicles to an autographed Mel Tillis book.  In fact, I am not sure that we ever had a “new” ice chest growing up.

I have not myself carried this family tradition to its extreme, but have found at least two items in a disregarded state that in a sense became mini-treasures.  Once was in college.  While taking my trash to the dumpster located behind our dorm, I spotted a thick gray book which I subsequently retrieved to find not only was it a big book, it was , in fact, a Bible.  It was further more a Catholic Confraternity edition (1961).  Apparently whoever formerly possessed it at my protestant school found little use for it. I however, was ecstatic, and have had (no kidding) offers to either trade or purchase this rarer edition of the Bible that sits amongst my various editions and translations shelf to this day.

I had a similar (if not dissimilar) experience on a mission trip to Moscow back in ’05 when we were walking along a narrow road that had a dumpster where some newly conscientious person had decided to dump their (or their babushka’s) entire Red library!  I did not want to seem greedy so I only took a book on Lenin, embossed with his face on the front and filled with Russian text.  It is still to this day one of my favorite souvenirs, particularly in regards to price.

These books were done, but now, they are in a collection where they are regarded, shelved, and cared for.

And you, rather you realize it or not, were or currently are in the same state as these ice chests, and books formerly.  Realize that you were once (or are) dead, but you have  (or will be!) been made alive, as if you were in a trash heap, but made valuable by the work of Christ.  God found you there, worthless, loved you and had great mercy on you, and now looks upon you with the same value that He places on His Son.


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