There was some discussion recently on Facebook about junk drawers. Some unenlightened folks said they had no idea what a junk drawer was.

Really? Is this something only us aging folks know about?

A junk drawer is that one place in your house, usually the kitchen, where all the little miscellaneous stuff ends up. Rubber bands, tie-ties, pencils, and that odd piece of something that came off something else that you can’t get rid of because you might need it.

“Honey, do you know where the ______________is?”

“Check the junk drawer.”

You know what I’m talking about. That Starbucks gift card with 79 cents left on it? In the junk drawer.

Two or three odd keys you can’t throw out because they might go to a lock you have somewhere? In the junk drawer.

I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing or a family thing, but as far back as I can remember, we’ve always had a junk drawer.

Another great place to store junk is the glove box or glove compartment*.

Here’s how Wikipedia defines the glove box:

A glove compartment or glove box is a compartment built into the dashboard of an automobile, located over the front-seat passenger’s footwell, and often used for miscellaneous storage. The name derives from the original purpose of the compartment, to store driving gloves.

What’s in most peoples’ glove boxes? Everyone has the usual assortment of fast-food napkins that jump out as soon as you release the latch. Mine holds a Swiss Army knife, a tiny flashlight that may or may not work, a couple of plastic sporks, a purse-sized hand sanitizer with maybe two squirts remaining, and a wine opener. Because, well, you never know when you might need to crack open a bottle of wine while you’re stuck in Bay Area traffic.

Oh, and three pairs of gloves.

*My dad called the glove compartment a ‘jockey box.’ No idea why. Wish I could ask him.

As I was pondering this strange habit of ours to collect and store the flotsam and jetsam of our lives, I asked myself this question:

What if we had a place to toss our emotional junk?

A hypothetical drawer we could slam closed.

A place to leave stuff like:

  • Memories of people who have wounded us
  • Regrets
  • Bad decisions
  • Poor habits
  • Addictions

Guess what? There is such a place. It’s up a hill to a place called Calvary. We can drag all our junk to the foot of the cross of Jesus and dump it there. Jesus said, “I have removed your sins (junk) as far as the East is from the West.”

Whenever I’m tempted to hold on to the past junk, I can dump it again and again. God’s junk drawer is never full. Different from my kitchen junk drawer, there isn’t anything there I might eventually need.

What’s in YOUR junk drawer? What junk do you carry in your glove compartment?
How can I pray for you to leave that stuff alone?

Blessings, JD

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind
and straining toward what is ahead.

– Philippians 3:13 (NIV)

Jane S. Daly is the author of two nonfiction books and seven novels.

Jane is addicted to coffee, purple pens, and her husband, not necessarily in that order. A self-proclaimed introvert, she enjoys the solitude of riding shotgun in Rigsby, her 37-foot motor home. But when they pull into a new campground, her favorite thing is to make new friends and find hangouts featuring local musicians. Her fantasy involves writing lyrics for country music songs and hearing them played on the radio. In the meantime, she’ll stick to writing novels. And seeing as much of the country as possible.