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Totaled, Wrecked, but Salvaged

Ever heard of LKQ? It’s one of my favorite places to hang out. Ten days ago they reported record revenue for this year as $2.04 billion, which is up 32% from last year. What is LKQ? A salvage yard. They used to call them junkyards. I’ve always wondered why I love going to salvage yards. Three things I discovered:

1. When I looked up the word “salvage” it said, “To save or rescue. To gain something beneficial from a failure.” No wonder I always sensed something special at the salvage yard.

Since I was a teen, I’ve remembered visits to the junkyard to get parts for cars. A fender here, a starter there. I learned from my parents and my grandfather the value of the useful over the shiny and the slightly used over the “Brand New.” One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. My grandfather, a “fix-it” man from Calcutta India, learned recycling long before it was fashionable. My son and I recently completely restored the interior of a friend’s car from what most call “salvage yard” parts.  Need your interior restored? “He who is sitting on the throne says, “I’m making all things new.” Rev 21:5

2. Here’s the second thing that speaks to me about the salvage yard. A headlight for a 2012 Mercedes is exactly the same price as a headlight for a 1971 Dodge Neon. You’ll pay the same price for a starter off of a convertible Porsche 911 Turbo as that on a Toyota Tercel. Imagine that. Where else does that happen? We’re used to connecting the value of things based on lots of criteria. Yet every heart, every life, was equally worth Christ dying for. The churched and the unchurched. The believer and the doubter. The sinner and the “worst sinner.”

3. Cars get wrecked, they break down, and they get written off as a “Total loss.” So do lives. But in both cases, there’s something worth saving, something worth rescuing, something to gain from seemingly failure. Your value is “worth it all” to God. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Just as parts in a salvage yard get a second shot at life, so do we.

Renowned singer Ethel Waters, whose birth was the result of her mother’s rape, looked beyond the outside and through the murky waters of her tough beginning and said: “I know I’m somebody ’cause God don’t make no junk.”

Whether your life needs a new starter, or its time to press the brakes, we’ll see you at the Sunday morning salvage yard.


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