One of the things I associate with my mum is the way she spies a broken flower, bends down and puts it in a vase of water. My dad sees a faulty thing, and works to fix it. My granny used to scrape jam jars until they were almost as clean as they had been before. My mother-in-law makes beautiful bags out of worn out jeans.
Why have we stopped doing that? Why do we just give up and throw things out when they need rescued?
I know this is a la mode these days with all the concern about waste, but it’s still not as good as it once was.
Thinking beyond the material, there’s a tendency to walk away from unsatisfactory relationships and people too. At my wedding 17 years ago last Friday, the minister talked about faithfulness, naming it as something that goes further than romantic love. We’ve lost the ability to determinedly stick at things. We’re very good at rubbishing them instead.
I know sometimes it is too hard to do it, but most times it is possible. I’m often tempted to give up when things don’t work in my faulty body but then I think about that rescued flower, the mended clock, the people who have pulled themselves up from the dirt… and I remember this: most things are worth rescuing.