Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Dumpster Diving

I have a problem. I must admit. I had never had this problem until I started throwing papers. I never had really even known the possiblity existed. Who knew that people throw away perfectly good stuff??? It started small, I think...I don't even really remember my first time.
Driving around the night before trash day. Nonchalantly glancing if I passed something sitting on the curb. Just in case it was something I never knew I needed. Until someone else was throwing it away. I remember when it blew out of proportion, though!

I was driving by one afternoon, doing our weekly ads. I saw one of those battery operated Jeeps on the curb. Next to a sandbox. Next to a tricycle. And the lady was in the driveway. My curiosity got the best of me. I stopped. I asked her what was wrong with the Jeep. She said that it just had a dead battery!!! And she was putting this out for the trash? WHAT?? I asked her what about the sandbox. She said her dog had chewed a little spot, so she didn't want it anymore!! My heart started pumping. I was getting excited! Lawson was only 9 months old, but I knew he was growing quickly! She said if I wanted it she would pull it up to the driveway so I could come back with a truck. And she took me inside and showed me all the other stuff her 2 boys were outgrowing--a plastic picnic table, a scooter, a tricycle, an indoor swingset/slide, several miscellaneous little toys...She said I could have all this for $25!!! Ding, ding, ding--we have a winner!! From then on I was hooked!

Be sure you understand--I don't actually dumpster dive...I only look at real stuff, sitting on the curb. I'm not picking through trash bags or anything--YUCK! Just stuff that's not really touching anything else.

Now, Jon makes terrible fun of me. Everytime I drive past a pile of "stuff", I have to look to see if it's something I need. I've found a computer desk, a Sit and Spin, two end tables, a basketball goal, a soccer goal, a slide, a toy tool bench, a Cozy Coupe, and a porch swing, and a solid oak sofa table. My latest jackpot was a set of four patio chairs!!! The paint's chipping, but they're solid--and comfy! I was just hoping for some chairs for our porch!!

And all of it just needs a little washing. Good as new. And Free! And even though Jon makes fun of me, I've started to notice his neck stretch if we're passing a pile now--I think he's looking for the next big find too!!!

In my seemingly endless amount of thinking time while driving around, as I was looking in people's piles of stuff, I thought of something. This stuff is still useful. It still has a purpose. Yet many times it's cast off, tossed out, set aside for something newer. Something shinier. Something faster or bigger or prettier. Sometimes it's such a waste.

And I think, we do that too. To people. People who aren't like us. People who are poor. Or sick. Or dirty. Or addicted. Or ugly.

A man who can't bear the thought of coming out of his alcohol-glazed world to face whatever his reality is. Or a single mom who faces judgment as she struggles to provide for her children. Or a begging man who lost his job and just never could get back on his feet. Or the person who is overweight and can't seem to maintain willpower to do anyting about it. Or someone who struggles with mental or physical illness that inhibits their ability to live an independent life.

And I picture God driving down our streets. He sees these people that he made in his image and he sees how they've been placed out on the curb. To us they're seemingly useless. It makes Him sad, I know, because his creation has been left to go to waste. To ruin. But I bet he thinks, "Why are they throwing these out? They have such potential! They're still good--they just need some cleaning up. A little extra love. I bet I can take them home and fix them. "

And I bet when someone who had been cast aside lets the Father touch their life and they come out shiny and 'good as new', he beams with pride. He's so proud that He caught that one. And he knows if he keeps an eye out, he'll find one after another that he can bring back.

Just makes me think. If I'm trying to be like Him, maybe I should be keeping an eye out too...


Kenny Simpson said...

Good point. And you need get Jamey to let me pick up some "junk" that I see being put out, she thinks its just trash.

Jamey said...

Wow Stacy. Very thought provoking.

And you know I'm all about picking things up that are in decent condition...Kenny is speaking of a recliner that was BENT OVER BACKWARDS! Now that's useful! ;)

Next time you find a slide...let us know..Avery needs outdoor stuff, and it's crazy expensive.

Whitney said...

Boy do I feel selfish. I was reading the first part trying to come up with a witty way of making fun. I mean, it was going to be a good one! Then, while I was reading, I TOTALLY got the point of the blog. So, you won't find ME giving you a hard time! No m'am! This chick's going to look for someone to love on a little bit more this week... maybe two! :-)

Jason said...

Great stuff, Stacy. Your post really points out God's desire to redeem. Don't let Jon make fun of you; your "dumpster diving" urge is proof of the image of God!

Sunny said...

Great thoughts Stacy! I remember you being so excited about the stuff you got from the lady for $25.

I am so thankful that there are people out there that look at those who have been "thrown out" and they are willing to step in and be Jesus to them.