By Tommy Rush
Last weekend, my wife and I took a short trip to east Texas to look for some antique items to use in a house that we’re renovating. We have seen the signs along Interstate 20 advertising the First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas for years, but never ventured into town to check it out until last weekend. I’m not sure that I have the words to describe it, other than “The Junk Capital of the World!” I have enjoyed going to Saturday morning yard sales for several years, but the Canton Trade Days was the Super Bowl of Yard Sales! There were literally thousands of people buying, selling, swapping, and trading as far as the eye could see.
I had a great time talking to people, while my wife was looking for old doors and farm sinks. I met an old man who introduced me to a title that I never had heard before, he referred to himself as a “Junker.” He told me that he had worked in the oil fields for over 30 years, but after retiring he had become a full-time “Junker.” He said, “Mister, if I don’t have what you’re looking for, I can find you one, and if I can’t find it, you probably don’t need it.” I never realized “Junking” was a vocation, but I actually like the idea of it all. It’s a gift to be able to look at trash or an old banged up piece of metal and see something the rest of us just don’t see.
On our way back home Saturday, I shared with my wife that Jesus would have loved “Junking!” I believe He would have loved the title, “Junker.” He was definitely a master of looking at broken and banged up people and seeing what no one else could see. When he first met Simon Peter, He said, “You are Simon son of John but from now on you will be called Peter or Rock.” Most people saw Simon as an unpredictable, erratic kind of guy who was always sticking his foot in his mouth. But Jesus looked at him and saw a leader. Most people saw Zacchaeus the tax collector as a man full of greed and dishonesty. Jesus saw a man longing to be different with a desire to give rather than take. He saw a man who longed to be forgiven, who wanted to be a forgiver. There are more stories of Jesus transforming messes into masterpieces than junk in Canton!
I’m very thankful that Jesus was and is a great “Junker.” What a blessing to know that the Lord is always searching for those whose lives are broken and banged up in order to turn their stories into testimonies of grace! I believe He desires for all of us to be better “Junkers.” Imagine all the lives that could be touched if more people were willing to stop for those that others are walking past and throwing away or even trashing. A good “Junker” would always be willing to pick them up, dust them off and remind them of how valuable they really are.