Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Last night I was upstairs painting our closet doors. Aaron was fitting together plumbing parts in the bathroom, and I was in the corner of the bedroom with a well-worn brush.  Our closet doors cost us absolutely nothing because my dad is the Salvage King.  When the State Farm Insurance office in our town decided to raze its building, Dad asked the owner if he could go by and save some things out of it.  I'm not sure of the exact amount of treasure Dad amassed from that foray, but I do know that our closet doors and a good portion of our bedroom trim were among the spoils.

Salvaging is in Dad's blood.  If there's something free, and that something holds the potential of someday, possibly, remotely proving itself useful, that something is going in Dad's garage.  He loves yard sales, and I remember he used to take me and my brother to dig around in the college dumpsters where hasty students, in their hurry home, threw all manner of perfectly good stuff.  He's never above curbside picking.  Last week, my parents drove to Kansas City to visit my brother, and as my mom later related their trip, she said, "Your dad was looking on the free section of the KC Craigslist before we left, and I'm not sure why." Mom, we know why dad was looking on the free section.

The depths of his garage have also provided us with door hinges, an antique doorknob that matches the rest of our doorknobs, roof tar, a ceiling fan, two Craftsman porch columns...I could go on.  It's amazing.  I'm telling you, if you need a dogsled, or a 1958 Studebaker part, or a Egyptian mummy - go.  Now.  You will find it in Paul's garage.

Dad sees possibility where others see detritus.

And so, last night, easing white paint onto doors that were destined for the landfill, I thought about my Dad.  And I thought about God.

It's a risky comparison to make, because I don't want to sound like a story you'd find in Chicken Soup for the Soul.  But Dad and his salvage heart make me think of God and His salvage heart.

Suspend your disbelief with me and dare to believe the impossible: that God takes the crud and junk and trash of our lives and turns it into good.  No, really.  It's not a slogan for a Christian t-shirt (God Loves Junkin').  It's true.  All the things that feel like too much, the things that have plagued us for too long, the wasted years, the yawning fears, the dying hopes, the regrets, the sullied depths that no one sees but us.

He collects them all. And He wants to redeem every single one.  His is a salvage of the greatest imagining - nothing in this sad, heavy world is beyond his touch of redemption.  

God has transferred those who love Him into the kingdom of His beloved Son (Colossians 1:14).  In His Kingdom, nothing is wasted.  Nothing goes under the blade of the bulldozer.  He's using every bit of it, for our good, for His glory.

In a world where we toss all manner of things - ugly things, old things, worn out things - God is never ready to dispose of us.  He makes beauty from ashes, and it's hard to think of a better salvage than that.

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