Friday, December 4, 2009

One Man's Trash...

Every year about this time we take a couple of trash bags to our kid's rooms and do a clearing out of old, broken and disregarded toys. Mainly we do this so that there is some room for the new toys at Christmas. Yesterday was the day. We had lugged a bunch of toys from Gunter that had been in the attic from a couple years ago, and so we dug through those too. By the time it was over we had cleared out 3 trash bags full. They were taken to the road for trash pick-up this morning.

Today was the coldest day since February 11, 2009.

Today for lunch the kids and I ordered a pizza.

We were waiting for it to be delivered when the knock on the door came. I grabbed my cash and went to the door, opened it, ready to grab the pizza. When I opened the door, no one was there, so I peaked out and saw a man standing on my driveway. I said "Hello" and in broken English he said "bags?" and pointed to the curb. He didn't have to say another word. I knew what he was asking..."Can I go through your trash?" I said to him, "Do you want them?", he nodded and I said "You can have them all".

Then I stepped back into the kitchen and wept. Hard. I knew what he was doing. He was gathering toys for his kids. I peaked out and noticed he only had a bike, so I called Bruce. Bruce said, give him everything and I started putting together food. Bruce and Paul got here and I found a crate to put the food in and another to put the toys in that he was going through. Within minutes his bike was loaded and Bruce and Paul had him back at his own home with a crate full of old toys and some food.

I don't tell all these details to draw attention to what we did. Instead, I felt like God was giving me a personal wake-up call. I can't tell you how this situation affected me. I was so saddened by the depths a man would go to dig through someone's trash. A man, whose pride was surely shaken by having to ask me if he could have those toys. I shared this story with the kids as we sat and ate our pizza. We talked about how we can do better to be thankful for the things we had. We talked about what it must feel like to have to ask someone if you can go through their trash. We talked about how blessed we are. We prayed, thanked God, and asked Him to open our eyes to the needs within just blocks of where we live.

I feel like the scene is replaying in my mind. I wonder if this man is warm, loved, knows Jesus, feels secure, has good health, and a job. I'm wondering how I can keep this feeling fresh in my mind and heart. I'm hoping I don't have to walk in his shoes ever...but know ..that for there but the grace of God go I.

We'll be keeping our eyes on this man this holiday for sure. Bruce knows where he lives and I'm hoping we get to share Jesus with Him before this Christmas season is over.


westover girl said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog today. Truthfully, I would have told him he was welcome to go through the bags but I probably wouldn't have thought he was getting them for his kids or the need of food for the family. Your testimony helped me to realize I need to be more aware of those around me and not so calloused. Thank you for sharing. Mary Amon

F. Deaton said...

Wow. You have me all teary-eyed. I think what y'all did was wonderful. Thinking about all of the kids that get hundreds of dollars worth of toys for Christmas...and this guy getting hand-me-downs for his little ones. Just gets to me. I am going to share this with my own kids.

Thank you for being the feet and hands of Jesus for all to see His love in action-I love you both for that.

Kathy said...

This reminds me very specifically of Matthew 2535-36 where Jesus is saying, " For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." It's so interesting to me in this day and time where giving IS taken advantage of,takers are often wrongly motivated and deceptive, BUT giving is still a Biblical indicator of righteousness. The whole passage in Matthew 25 is worth reading, especially now.

Kathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy said...

I really can type! The correct passage is Matthew 25:35-36. : )

Married with Children..... said...

WOW!!! what a story and how it opens our eyes! We all know we are blessed and we do thank God every day.... however, we seem to always forget just what that means until we witness or live something like this out for ourselves! Humbling!!!

Thanks for sharing!! -and miss ya

The Caldwells said...

Thats awesome. I got teary-eyed myself. Thanks for sharing. We round stuff up and go to the Humanitarian drop offs here in our town in Austria. We want our boys to learn about taking their eyes off of 'self' and see others around them.

We should be able to see you guys next summer for a short furlough... though we'll be on the road more than anything :)