I enjoy attending the Plaza Art Fair and am always impressed with the talent and creative expressions of the artist exhibitors.
One year, my husband and I went with my parents to spend an afternoon strolling through the Plaza, taking in the beauty of the location and the event. That year was one of the first times I’d seen found objects used as a creative medium for sculpture.
I am not artistically talented and was amazed at an artist’s ability to reimagine those items into the beautiful, complex sculptures I was looking at. At the same time, I was also struck by the familiarity of those found objects — their not-special, common junky-ness.
My mother and I began to focus only on that aspect of the artwork and pointed out to each other those items we each knew we had in a drawer or the garage or the basement or a closet — finally, proclaiming to my father, “We’ve got most of this stuff! Why couldn’t we do this?”
The wisdom of my father’s succinct reply was irrefutable: “You’ve got the junk, but you don’t know how to put it together.”
Sometimes, God just throws stuff out there for free. I was not in church, not reading my Bible, not praying or thinking ponderous spiritual thoughts, but I knew this was going to explain Romans 8:28 for me. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
I know I have junk, physical and metaphorical; we all do. Some have more than others maybe, but whether it’s just a drawerful or rented storage units are involved, there’s no escaping junk. Some people are born into junk. Others collect junk. You can inadvertently move into another person’s junk.
And sometimes, junk just gets dropped off on the front lawn, so to speak. Whether it’s relationships, finances, health, attitudes, or a variety of other issues — life is just junky.
Now at my house when junk accumulates, it gets shoved out of sight. Drawer, closet, garage or basement — out of sight. And what choice do you have, if you’re not a sculptor, except maybe have a garage sale or throw it away?
Surprise! There are people who want my junk and will drive to my house to pick it up!
I love large-item pickup days. Besides the fact that I can get rid of a lot of bulky junk on a twice-yearly basis, it reminds me every time I see items on the curb that the junky stuff of my life is the artistic medium of choice for my great creator God.
He is able and is inclined to want to take my life and use whatever I make available to him for his purposes. Nothing is wasted. It can all be useful in his creative process.
Whatever I will relinquish, he is able to redeem.
Anne Krause, one of The Star’s Faith Walk writers, can be reached at email@example.com.