“One’s man trash is another man’s treasure.” As an avid fisherman, my grandmother would have disagreed.
My grandmother loved to fish, but not simply for enjoyment. She fished for the money. Rarely do I remember her cooking fish, yet she fished almost every day of the week. Money was her goal. What my grandfather wouldn’t give her for spending, she would secretly earn by selling fish to neighbors. She then stashed her cash in an undisclosed location that he knew nothing about. Since she was out to earn money, small fish were of no interest to her. So if she or I were fishing in a cranny where petite fish were stealing our bait, she would tell me to fish in another spot. “That’s only trash," she’d say. Rarely would I snare this trash, and if I did she would instruct me to throw them back.
God, on the other hand, treasures trash. What I consider trash, God never does. It’s easy for me—and anyone else, to look down on others for various reasons. Unfortunately, this is parcel to my fallen human nature. The temptation to think I’m better than someone else because of: the vehicle I drive, the square footage of my house, the job title I wear, the side of the tracks from which I originate, the clubs to which I belong, or any other number of accolades attached to my name. When others don’t measure up, I can view them as “trash.” I can even view myself in a similar manner if I don’t measure up.
The Bible is saturated with examples of trash that God transforms into treasures: murderers, societal misfits, thieves, sexual predators, liars, fault finders, snobs, and skeptics. Rather than fishing somewhere else—or rejecting those who want to follow him, he invites all to come regardless of their pasts or presents. When we accept his invitation, he has a miraculous way of turning trash into treasure. What will you let God make of you?
Prayer: O God, creator of all, enable us to see all varieties of people as You see them—as treasures.