Trash or Treasure?

Share this!

As she stared at the eBay site, the antique shop owner pondered how to value the weathered baseball card. Seventy-two-year-old Bernice Gallego had never heard of the team, so assigning a value to the Cincinnati Red Stocking B. B. Club was near impossible. Ten dollars was the minimum bid, so she chose that valuation and dismissed it in her mind.

Later that evening, strange queries began rolling in. Was the card legitimate? Would she sell direct? A good friend suggested she cancel the auction and have the card appraised by a professional. Taking his recommendation, Bernice zipped the card in a plastic baggie and searched for someone in the area who specialized in baseball history.

Bernice found Rick Mirigian, a trader who immediately recognized her card with astonishment. “When I came to meet her, and she took it out of the sandwich Baggie, and she was smoking a cigarette, I almost fainted,'”he says. “They’ve uncovered a piece of history that few people will ever be able to imagine or comprehend. And it comes out of Fresno. That card is history. It’s like unearthing a Mona Lisa or a Picasso.

The 1869 Red Stocking’s card is considered by many collectors as the first baseball card ever issued. The faded sepia card is ranked number one in desirability by the Professional Sports Authenticator, a grading service for rare collectibles and cards. With less than 50 still in circulation, a Red Stocking card ranks even above the 1916 Babe Ruth rookie card.

Gallego was surprised. “I didn’t even know baseball existed that far back,” she shrugged. “I don’t think that I’ve ever been to a baseball game.’

Within a few months, news of Bernice’s find spread like wildfire. Her appearance on the Jay Leno Tonight Show probably helped. In February of 2009, Tristar CEO, Jeff Rosenburg, bought the trading piece for $75,285, quite a difference from her initial valuation of ten dollars.

It’s all a matter of perspective. The life, which you value as insignificant and worthless, has inestimable worth. Significance doesn’t lie in the brilliance of the image but the eye of the expert. What better authority is there on you but the One who created and is completing your life?

God explicitly chooses the foolish, weak, lowly, and despised for a reason (1 Corinthians 1:26-28). Lives of weakness are the Holy Spirit’s favorite hiding place. The revelation of this truth is the secret staying power of tattered vessels. Immense value lies not in our looks or actions but the longing of our Beholder. Christ’s one desire centers on you (John 17:24).

Settle into your weakness then and look for His joy within to strengthen you. As A. W. Pink says, “Before He gives strength, we must be made to feel our weakness. Slow, painfully slow, are we to learn this lesson; and slower still to own our nothingness and take the place of helplessness before the Mighty One.”

Be still, dear one, and know the He is God (Psalm 46:10).