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.