Friday, May 21, 2010


I love my garbage man. I experience a thrill of excitement when I realize on Thursday morning, "Hey! Today is garbage day!"

We have one of those chest-high, heavy-duty plastic bins that the boys haul out to the highway once a week for garbage pickup. Most weeks, the bin is only a little over half-full. Marvelous, mysterious Garbage Man pulls his big lime green truck up beside the bin, a mechanical arm grabs the bin and empties it, and Mr. Garbage Man drives away. My hero!

But yesterday, our big bin was filled to overflowing. Literally. Bags of trash piled on top of the bin. Bags and boxes of trash stacked on the ground around the bin. As I surveyed the mountain of trash, I begin to wonder how much Mr. Garbage Man really loved me. Sure, he could handle my usual piddly trash - but what would he do when he saw all this crap?!

You know what he did? Mr. Garbage Man took it ALL away.

We've been cleaning closets at the Kendall house this week. And cleaning under the beds. And cleaning bookshelves. The only storage area left to clean downstairs is The Closet Under the Stairs, and that will take a week's worth of work all by itself. I can now walk into my bedroom closet without having to push past six month's worth of ironing. I can open the pantry door and immediately locate a 28-oz. can of petite diced tomatoes. I can even find the pesticide for the rose bush out in the garden shed, where sharpened and oiled garden tools stand like ranks of ready soldiers. All the old feed sacks are gone. And the bathing suits that haven't fit any of my kids for years. And the 60-pound rock collection has been relocated to the herb box outside. All the clutter and trash is gone. My closets are at peace.

The rest of the house? Well, that's another story. Fifteen pairs of boots, flipflops, and sneakers are crowded beside the front door. (Yes, fifteen. I just counted them.) Riding tack is piled beside another door. The kitchen counter is buried under a pile of neglected paperwork. The yard needs to be mowed and trimmed. If you walked into my house right now, you would see no evidence of the tremendous amount of work that's been accomplished here this week. Well, not unless I drug you to the closet (which I have done to a few folks this week!) But even if I showed you my orderly pantry, you still wouldn't be able to appreciate it if you hadn't seen what it looked like before.

I mentioned in a previous blog that Monday was a low day for me. Why so low? Because my heart was like a closet full of old feed sacks, shriveled potatoes, and neglected laundry. Blech. You might not have known by looking - I usually keep the "public face" pretty tidy, just like I mop my kitchen floor and clean the bathrooms every week. It's the hidden, neglected, closed-away places that get so oppressively junky.

Steve tried to encourage me: "You don't my-particular-flavor-of-sin. It's just not in your nature." I responded, "It IS in my nature - you just don't see the war going on in my heart." Smiling on the outside, dying on the inside. Can you relate?

I am so grateful God sees past outward appearances. He doesn't leave us smiling on the outside, rotting on the inside. He doesn't settle for great looking floors and shiny bathroom fixtures. He pushes right into the closets and starts cleaning the heart of the house. He fills my big green sin bin to overflowing, hauling out load after load of buried, hidden junk. And He doesn't stop after just one "closet." He gets into every nook and cranny.

Day after day, week after week, God keeps digging out and throwing away trash. Monday, I was wondering, "Can my Garbage Man handle all this junk? How much does He really love me?" Amazingly, day after day, week after week, Christ keeps carrying it all away. He loves me that much.

I love my Garbage Man.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can relate. Would you be interested in coming for a two or three week "free" vacation. I guarantee that my garbage man will carry everything away. Love you.