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Trash to Treasure: “These children had eyes to see what I did not.”

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

Written by: Sydney Miller, Director of Storytelling at myLIFEspeaks

You can listen to the audio/podcast version, here.

One thing that has stuck with me every time I have been blessed to visit Haiti is the children’s creativity. Where you and I see a punctured tire, empty Coke bottle, or “trash”, children in the village see opportunity.

While I see an old, dirty lotion bottle with a hole in the side, a child in Haiti sees the body of a car. They add some bottle cap wheels, straw axles, and broken fishing line tied to the front bumper and they’re off and running with a toy car trailing closely behind.

An old baby powder bottle turned toy car.

Where you and I see a discarded bike tire on the side of the road, children in the village see a game to play with their friends. Children gather together and with a stick, hit, propel, and guide the upright tire next to them while running down the dirt roads.

Witnessing this creativity has left me in awe several times, especially in contrast to American culture where children have bins and bins of toys and still somehow end up “bored". It’s not a comparison but it just shows the endless possibilities when we are forced to be creative.

But bigger than seeing “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” I see this as a larger parallel with LIFE and the way God sees us. We may see ourselves or others as broken, disabled, poor, too far gone, ugly, crazy, less than, or fill in any other negative adjective in the book.

Like the trash on the side of the Haitian dirt roads, I didn’t give them a second glance. But these children had eyes to see what I did not. Likewise, even the most “broken” or “overlooked” among us, God delights in and calls His Beloved Child.

God doesn’t make mistakes and He doesn’t make junk.

God doesn’t make mistakes and He doesn’t make junk. You are not an exception. Today I challenge you to allow the Lord in to open your eyes to see yourself and others the way God does. Ask Him to heal your blindness. Ask Him to restore your vision. Ask Him to help you see others through His Eyes: with love, mercy, kindness, and humility.

Maybe where we once saw “trash”, we will see God’s treasure.

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