My friend, Katie, and I spent time at the Salvation Army store the other day. She wanted to get some things to personalize her space in her apartment. I, being of superior shopping skills and a dithering mind, came along for the fun.
One of the sadder things was the case containing three abandoned Build-A-Bears. There they were, in their boxes, their little pink hearts most likely still intact. But childless. I think someone needs to warn whoever buys those bears that they might have severe attachment issues with their new owners.
We continued wandering around the store. I watched Katie as she sifted through odds and ends. Looking for those pieces she could repurpose. This gal’s got an eye for design, and she has the ability to make beautiful things out of stuff that seems to hold no value.
She purchased a little end table. She saw it could be more than it was. Though stained and a little wobbly, she talked of sanding it down and painting it, already knowing the perfect place it could fit in her room.
I envy Katie’s ability to see past the wobble and stains. To picture in her mind what it could be. I grew up hearing the adage “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” That’s the thinking that drives garage sales and all those HGTV shows where broken down and despicable becomes gloriously gorgeous. I love those shows. It’s when DIY Dayle wants to come out and create. Even though she has no taste. My reality–I’ve been that person who couldn’t see past the trash part to what could be. Past the imperfections and problems to the “just imagine”. Practical Dayle lives here.
There are times when I yearn to have that skill of seeing possibilities. Not to become more Pinterest-oriented. Wanting to recreate me. To become more of who I dreamed of one day being. A published author who travels to book signings. Having people stand in line wanting to take their picture with me. A gracious humanitarian who travels to areas of suffering and loss to help those in need. A caring philanthropist who gives away money to needy people and worthy causes. What could be.
I had to smile at the sign above the cash registers. “No exchanges; no refunds; all sales are final.” The Salvation Army may take your junk, but they don’t want it back. You choose it. It’s yours.
There’s a reason the Salvation Army is a group grounded in God. God is the perfect Restorer. He paid the ultimate price for us. When we receive Him, He never tries to give us away. No exchanges for who we are. No refunds for what He paid. His sale is final. Fully recreated and repurposed.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
We’re not leftovers or misfits. We’re chosen and cherished. Created first in His image and recreated to be like Jesus. New life. New hope.