The landfill at Springville is two stories high, with a steady line of trucks bringing more. We went there to dump a truckload of concrete-like slag from Geneva steel that we’d dug out of our garden. Signs posted everywhere warned against salvaging. The saddest thing was that so many of the things being dumped looked salvageable. When we got to the area where we could unload our rubble, there, marking our spot was an old clothesline post, with a plug of cement and rocks circling its base.
I’ve been looking for a set of clothesline posts for a year now. Living in Utah, with its dry climate, most days it’s faster to hang things out to dry that it is to use an electric dryer. And here was what I wanted, something that had been and still could be useful, thrown out for trash. And even if my husband and I had been able to wrestle it up into the truck, we weren’t allowed to salvage it.
Shouldn’t we believe in salvaging? It seems so close to salvation. To take something broken, unvalued, and restore its utility and worth.
I’m afraid that the landfill I saw is just one example of our collective gross misuse of our resources.
Christ taught the parable of the unfaithful steward. He buried the talent in the ground instead of using it to increase the talents he could offer back to his master, but at least his talent was retrievable. But we are turning our resources, the talents we have been given, into trash, and when we bury them, we are poisoning the ground with heavy metals and noxious chemicals. How can offer this back to the Lord, and expect a favorable accounting?
We have forgotten our calling to be stewards. This is not something that will be taken care of by free market capitalism. Stewardship requires self-discipline, motivated by faith and hope. We need to show our love for God and this earth by using all resources wisely.