Reuse and the Gift of Giving
by Dina Sleiman
Yesterday D'Ann wrote a lovely post about "Reducing" clutter and linked it to an amazing spiritual principle of getting rid of the junk in our own lives. One of my best friends, Kim Upperman, would probably be the first to admit that she could use a few lessons in actual decluttering, but her reasons for a cluttery house come out of the best spirit possible.
In addition to Kim's passion for giving, God has also given mankind a responsibility to subdue and care for the earth that he has made for us. Not to strip and to rob it blind. Not to turn it into a giant waste dump. To love it and treat it with respect.
Kim largely funded a missionary trip to Romania for one of her many boys (she has six) by picking up "trash" that people dumped on the curbside and selling it at a yard sale. How's that for a good use of resources!
Her lunacy...I mean passion, reached yet another new level recently when she discovered that a clothes drop off near her neighborhood YMCA had a tiny sign on the side near the bottom saying the clothing actually is shredded to make rugs. Kim has now taken to "reallocating" some of the beautiful designer clothing, especially when the bags don't quite make it all the way into the dumpster. She doesn't have a problem with turning raggedy old clothing into carpets, but she knows people assume their nice clothes will be going to others in need, not the shredder mill. Can't you just imagine her sneaking in there at night with her giant maroon van to heist the trash bags full of jeans and shoes?
Okay, I admit that the second picture isn't really Kim. I found it on google and couldn't resist. And while Kim's habit may make for an amusing post, the truth is, I have the greatest respect for her and her gift of giving. She also has a gracious gift of hospitality, and no matter how messy her home with six boys, two dogs, a husband, and her personal recycling center might get, friends are always welcome for conversation and a cup of coffee. Kim puts people first. That's her true gift.
Maybe today this post is a gift to Kim. One of my gifts is encouragement. Each of us have our own gifts, our own special place of fitting into the body of Christ. Let's use and reuse those gifts today. Kim may not be winning any "Spring Cleaning" awards this season, but I know many, many rewards await her in heaven for her generous spirit and her kind heart.
What are your gifts? How are you involved in caring for the earth? For others?