One Saturday morning at the end of January, my husband’s brother and his family came to visit us from out of town for a weekend. It was my sister-in-law’s (or sister-by-love as she puts it) birthday in a couple of weeks, so as a gift I took her to one of her favorite places on earth – an old warehouse near downtown Burlington, NC where she could pick out something she’d like. From an old warehouse.
This “warehouse” has become well-known in the state of NC and surrounding states to those who like to search for little (or big) treasures that other people consider to be junk. But those others find “junk” to be beautiful and useful. They’ll search for it, and are willing to drive for a few hours to salvage something. My sister-by-love is one of them.
And that leads to the name of this warehouse, converted into a shop: Salvage Sisters. They are two, very talented sisters who love Jesus, love people, and love to make something beautiful and new from something old and worn out.
After breakfast we headed to the shop. Once there, my sister-by-love and I had gone through the shop probably two times and she wanted to go around a third time to get some ideas for the home embellishing business she and her sister own in Virginia. But I decided to stop and control myself because I was gifting her this time, not myself. I found myself starting up a conversation with a gal who wore a Salvage Sisters shirt whom I assumed worked there. Well, I learned it was one of the sisters. In our nice conversation, she mentioned something about her employees which caught my attention. Employees. I thought, “Oh, this would be a fun place to work.” I happened to be looking for a part-time job and heard myself asking her, “You were just talk about your employees. Are you by chance in need of another one?” with a joking, but not really, smile on my face.
To my surprise, she said, “Yes, we actually are.” A week later I was given the offer to work for them at their vintage shop. It’s really been fun working there a couple weekends a month but not only have I learned to use the register and bag the treasures found, but God has also been teaching me something else as well.
You see, if you’re like me, whatever age you are, there’s been times when you’ve felt run down, broken, useless, or completely fallen apart. Maybe you’ve felt like a worn-out, rusty piece of junk from a salvage pile, questioning if there’s anymore purpose for it.
Salvage. In a broad term, salvage means “rescue anything from danger” but often refers to shipwrecks. That’s when people would try to “salvage” what they could from the wreck or a storm. It’s what they could hold onto, even if it wasn’t in a great condition anymore. The root of that word goes way back in time; the origin of the word salvage is “salver”, which means “to save”.
And what is the original definition of “salver”, or “to save” you may ask? Well, it means, “to rescue from peril, bring to safety” and also”prevent the death of”. When looking at its use in Scripture though, it means “to deliver from sin or its consequences; admit to eternal life; gain salvation.”
Now hang in there with me because this all ties together. With this crazy interest, I discovered that the ancient Hebrew word for rescue or deliver is “yasha”. And do you know that Jesus’ name in Hebrew is Yeshua that comes from the word “yasha”? Yeshua, the One who came to rescue and deliver us. (And it’s interesting to learn that the Greek word for “please save” is hosanna, but that can be for another time!)
I’m so undeserving of being rescued yet I’m grateful for being salvaged and even more, for the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2)
Working at Salvage Sisters has caused me to think about the meaning of salvage. Salvage is searched for and then once found, is restored and brought back to purpose. Our broken bodies and worn-out hearts can be restored, renewed, reused and repurposed. In different times in our lives, God will work through us in different, and ususally unexpected, ways. But occasionally through time or challenges, we become worn out and feel like we’re falling apart. That’s when GOD strengthens us to be restored and renewed for the next plans and purpose He has for us.
Jesus, Yeshua’s, purpose, while on this earth, was to come rescue us. He rescued us on the cross when his body was broken and then resurrected! He came and searched for you and found you. He’ll repair your brokenness and restore you with a new purpose. Even if I carry some of the scars, or wrinkles (yeah, I’m definately looking older than I did 20 years ago), He can still use me – and you – to bring Him glory. And that’s really our true calling and purpose no matter what our condition is – to give God GLORY for WHO HE IS. HE IS the Creator of all things and HE IS OUR SALVATION!