In my small, rural Missouri town during my childhood, there was no community trash pick-up service that came once a week. Instead, we all had 55-gallon metal drums in our backyards into which we emptied our trash cans, and in which we burned our trash once a week. (Yes, we were not very ecologically minded back then.) When the drum got full or we had items too large to burn, we could call several men in the community with pickup trucks who would come and take our trash to the city dump. We paid them for their services, and some men actually made a living hauling people's trash to the dump.
When our drum was full, my Mom would call for a pick-up, and then she would go through the house to find other items she wanted to get rid of. She would get the things ready and hope that my Dad would not discover the pile of "trash." If he did, being someone who hated throwing things away, he would sort through the pile, and about half of those items would end up back in our home, much to my Mom's chagrin. He was sure they still had a lot of good use in them.
One of those men who hauled trash for people was my Uncle Bub after he retired. Legend has it that he would fill up his truck with items someone wanted him to take to the dump, but before he made that trip, he would stop at one of the restaurants on the town square and drink coffee with his friends. On most days, people would come into the restaurant and ask, "Hey, Bub, how much will you take for ____ item in your truck?" Usually he wound up selling close to half of the truck's contents, and then he would take the rest to the city dump. People apparently saw treasure in that trash!
I was back home from school the Christmas before Vicki and I were to be married in January. By that time, my Dad had his own pickup truck, and he would take our trash to the dump on Saturdays instead of calling Uncle Bub. One Saturday, I rode out to the dump with him and, always on the lookout for something he thought could be a treasure, Dad spotted a small, old wooden end table that had not yet been burned. He ran to it, grabbed it, and brought it to me. It was sturdy, and he thought Vicki and I could use it in our apartment when we got married in January. Surprisingly, Vicki and I both saw the potential in it. We first painted it sage green and used it in our small bedroom. A few years later, it was again painted for our daughter's bedroom when she was a little girl. We used that old table for about 25 years. Amazing, isn't it, how something that someone else sees as trash can be somebody else's treasure?
The same is true in relationships. Sometimes, we see people who are different from us or people who think differently than us, as trash. But our Heavenly Father sees them as treasure. The Bible says that everyone is made in the image of God. The saying, "I'm good 'cause God made me, and God don't make no junk!" might not be grammatically correct, but it speaks volumes about how much God treasures each person.
I wonder what would happen in our towns, counties, states, and in our nation if we started seeing all people as treasure and not trash? How might our lives be different? What benefit would that have for our communities and our country? What a great adventure it could be of learning how to see others through God's eyes and changing our view of someone from trash to treasure.