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  • Writer's pictureMelinda Eye Cooper

White Trash

Updated: Aug 27, 2022

In the spring of 2015, some beautiful red tulips bloomed near the house we were renting. They're my favorite and I needed a new cover photo for social media. Tulips to brighten up my page!

There was a barn in the field behind the flowers so I got down on the ground to get the perfect shot. Tulips bursting with color with a barn behind it. I loved the photo!

I uploaded it and friends suggested I frame it. Instead, I had a canvas made to hang on the wall of our rental. It was perfect.

About this same time, I got a new job with a large, nice office. A co-worker suggested I get a larger canvas of the photo to hang above the file cabinets. There was a reimbursement (up to a certain amount) for office décor. Ooo la la!

Before long, I had a large, lovely canvas hanging above the file cabinets to brighten up my new office space.

But . . . with the larger print, I noticed something in the background I hadn't seen before. It was behind the tulips, in the gravel driveway, in front of the barn.

It was white. And looked like trash.

It appeared to be a wadded up fast-food bag from Sonic or McDonalds right in the middle of my beautiful tulip photo. Our older sons usually parked there so I figured they were to blame. A frown formed because there was no fixing it.

There was evidence in the photo we were trashy. And I'd blown it up and hung it on the wall!

It was too late to take another photo . The tulips were long gone by the time I noticed the white trash. I was so focused on capturing the perfect photo, I missed what was in the background.

These days, the canvas hangs in my office where I currently work. I point out the trash when I get compliments on the photo. Now that I know its there, I just go ahead and tell people about it. lol

The reality is we all have some trash in our background. Things we wish weren't there. Things we wish others didn't know or see. Things we wish we could erase.

By the time we bloom into the person God has called us to be, the trash is a good reminder. We're not the same person we once were. We're not perfect.

We can't change our past but God has changed us for the better. We don’t want to forget where we've come from. It makes us thankful for what God has done.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD." And you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:5 NIV

The canvas reminds me there's definitely some white trash in my background. I wish it wasn't there but it's okay because God forgives when we don't deserve it. He lavishes us with grace drawing us into a beautiful relationship through His Son.

He is the One who is perfect. And covers us (and our white trash).


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1 Comment

J.D. Wininger
J.D. Wininger
Aug 25, 2022

Oh, how I enjoyed this post Ms. Melinda. First, I had to laugh at the title as I've been called this most of my life. Second, I love how you have decided to publicly display your testimony. Isn't that something every Christian is called to do? Although admittedly, many are tarnished and not very effective because they look like everyone else's who live in the world. I suspect ma'am, that yours is a gleaming white as that hidden sack on your road.

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