Reality television series featuring “pickers” who travel through their country looking to buy antiques and collectibles have become popular in several countries: Canadian Pickers in Canada, Aussie Pickers in Australia, Salvage Hunters in Great Britain and American Pickers in the United States.
As an antique lover, recycler and thrift conscious person, I enjoy watching American Pickers. It is very interesting to see what Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz discover as they go through people’s old barns, homes, out buildings, storage sheds and property. They will climb through unstable attics and go under collapsed buildings in order to pull out a treasure or two for their Antique Archaeology stores.
Mike and Frank introduce themselves at the beginning of each show, saying, “We travel the back roads of America looking to buy rusty gold. We’re looking for amazing things buried in people’s garages and barns. What most people see as junk, we see as dollar signs. We’ll buy “anything” we think we can make a buck on. Each item we pick has a history all its own and the people we meet? Well, they’re a breed all their own. We make a living telling the history of America…one piece at a time.”
Everything they uncover had value at one time. Believing it would be useful or decorative, someone bought or made the item. Some of the people they “pick” have their collections displayed and continue to enjoy them. Others have items buried so deeply the guys have to dig through a lot of other stuff to find them.
Uncovering these old things and using them in new or even original ways restores these items to usefulness. As Frank said in one episode, “Broken does not mean useless.” He knows someone somewhere can see beyond the broken parts and either make it whole again or use it just the way it is.
So much is disposable today. Our landfills are full of disposable containers and items people no longer use. In an ever increasing throw away society, it is refreshing to know some people are working to salvage or restore items rather than get rid of them.
God is the ultimate restorer – our Redeemer. Vance Havner (1901-1986), a well known preacher and Christian author, once said, “God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.”
God knows the potential of usefulness in each of us. Sin and circumstance can break us down, but when God recreates us through His Son Jesus Christ, we are better than before.
“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 6:17).