Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Saved from the junk pile

Rottenness abounds
A few weeks ago, I was in the midst of raging a full-out battle against the stinkbugs that had taken up residence in every nook and cranny in our house. Armed with my loaded gun of caulk, I swarmed into each room, laying down ribbons of the gooey stuff with the hope of sealing them in. The sunroom was the worst. Huge panes of glass mounted in, well, nontraditional construction methods, provided a virtual playground for these horrible bugs. As I was attempting to fill the many voids, a curious thing happened. My hand went right through a 4x4 support beam. I took that as a bad sign since I doubted I had developed the ability to reach through walls like a super hero. Anyway, further investigation revealed a totally rotten structure damaged from years of water damage. We had not planned on a big construction project but now we had no choice.

Landfill-destined junk

We hired a friend who does this type of work. Seth is working as his helper. It took a couple days to rip the thing apart and even more to put it back together. In fact, construction is still underway. But in the process, huge piles of see-through lumber, 36 cumbersome sheets of glass and tons of construction carnage decorated our yard. Yesterday and between raindrops, Seth and I spent some time "organizing" the junk. We separated out good wood from the bad, trash from the salvageable. What resulted was a huge pile of aluminum that we'll be able to sell to a recycling company. What once looked worthless and headed to an eternity in the land-fill has been pulled from the rubble and restored with value.
Valuable junk: saved and recycled

I can't help but think of the spiritual analogy. Because of our intrinsic sin, we were in the trash pile. No value. No hope of a productive, purpose-driven life. I realize that such a sentiment is not politically correct but it's true nonetheless. However, when God reaches down with that strong arm of love and plucks us from that mess, His choice to recycle us gives us value; not because of anything we have done but because that divine act bestows value.

I am so thankful that God extended his grace and mercy to me. I would much rather be trash saved from the heap and re-made into His image than live where my sin naturally calls home.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins...we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 
(Ephesians 2:1, 3b-10)


Rick Gray said...

First of all, you and Seth be careful with that glass overhead. That also includes your hired help friend. I certainly don't want you squashed (like your stink bugs) by a big pane of glass. You have a race to run next weekend. Certainly another interesting analogy you have here. We are lucky that God finds us recyclable. Without that we would be destined for an eternity of pain and suffering.

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

Lucky for us, the sunromm won;t be quite so sunny anymore. WE put in 4 good-sized windows but the roof is now a conventional one without the glass!

Follow the yellow lines

Jack in his younger days "Well, you know I can't live here by myself. I'm moving in with you." I guess he was serious....