Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dumpster Diving

When we are in North Carolina, we are about 20 minutes away from town and about 45 minutes away from a large city so we don’t make the trek into town very often. We had errands to run and a desire to see our new granddaughter so Asheville was the perfect place to do both. We made a quick run to the garbage dump…that right we don’t have garbage pick up in the mountains. So Wayne tossed the bags of garbage into the dumpsters while I worked on my laptop and then we hurried toward Asheville.

Once we were on the interstate I asked Wayne for his phone. I never have mine, just one more thing to keep up with. It was then we discovered his phone was missing. As quickly as possible, which wasn’t very quick, we found an exit and returned to the garbage dump. I began to search and Wayne went to the little shed on the property to talk with the attendant.

The small, wrinkled faced man walked back with Wayne toward the dumpster where we had tossed our garbage. “Was it a heavy black thing?” the man questioned. Wayne nodded feeling his first wave of relief. “It’s my fault,” the man began, “I thought it was trash…I didn’t know what it was…I threw it into the dumpster.”

“Which dumpster?.” Wayne questioned as his eyes scanned 7 big dumpsters lining the fence..

“I think I threw it in one of these two,” the old man answered while peering inside.

One dumpster only had a few bags in the bottom, so Wayne found a stick and began to look for his precious I-Phone. It was obvious. The phone wasn’t in this dumpster.

I stuck my head in the other dumpster. There was a lot of garbage in the second container. Wayne took his stick and tried to move the garbage around. It wasn’t working very well so he rolled up his pants and crawled inside where he began to search through the bags of garbage. It was at that moment I really wished I had his phone to take his picture. I’m telling you, it’s a sight you don’t see often. It wasn’t funny then, but it is now. Once Wayne sorted through the garbage to see the bottom of the dumpster he found his valuable black I-phone sitting in six inches of rain water from the storm the day before. He plunged his hand in the water, yuck, and retrieved the phone.

We were thankful that someone hadn’t found the phone and taken it with them and we were thankful to God for helping us find it. But with all that water, was it ruined?

When we got in the car Wayne removed the Otter case and handed the phone to me to dry it off while he pulled out the hand sanitizer and began slathering himself with it. As I dried the phone the phone came on. Because the case was so water tight there was no water inside the case. The phone was dry and worked perfectly. Double praise God! What a relief.

A couple days later I was dealing with stuff, just the junk that comes with life, aggravating, discouraging stuff when the Lord reminded me of Wayne in the dumpster retrieving his phone. He reminded me that the phone was protected because of the case that held the phone. He remind me that He holds me in His tender care and that I have a case that protects me even better than the one on Wayne’s I-phone—the whole armor of God. What is that armor? It’s the Word of God and prayer. That’s what I needed--more of the Word and more prayer; Not after the storm comes, but daily so my emotions and attitudes are wrapped in the faith that God’s promises are sure and He will not fail me regardless of what I am going through!

Maybe you feel like you’ve been tossed in the dumpster. Your value is not recognized and people seem to mindlessly toss you away. That is the message of Christmas. God is the God that pursues. While we were sinners, God sent His Son into the world to seek and to save the lost. He loves you and wants to encase you in His love.

The dumpster wasn’t really that icky because everything was enclosed in plastic bags. But Jesus came into this world, to seek and to save the lost. He not only stuck his hand into the garbage of this world, but He became sin for us so He could pay the penalty of sin. That is amazing to me. Absolutely amazing. The message of Christmas to me is the message of redemption. Love...peace… joy…become the result of receiving that Redemption through the person of Jesus Christ.

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