Dumpster Diving


Dumpster Diving

We had not been married for a long time yet. I suppose had I been a bit wiser I might have known that what I was about to do could lead Betsy to wonder what she had gotten into. There they were, sticking right out of the dumpster, two beautiful 6” x 6” pressure treated posts waiting to be re-homed. I could imagine them perfectly placed in our landscaping to keep the dirt from washing away.
I waited for my opportunity. We were sitting in a restaurant waiting to be served. I was getting a bit anxious. Wonder if someone else spied “my” treasure and pounced on it before I had opportunity? Time might be against me. The thought never occurred to me that others may not see what I did sticking out of that ugly green hulk. Betsy did not. Decidedly so, Betsy did not. I realize that now. I didn’t see it then. The thought never occurred to me that she might not understand my urgency in getting up from the table before dinner was served to climb the side of that dumpster, pull out those two timbers and load them up before returning to the table. It is a testament to her patient forbearance that she took it in stride and went right ahead with dinner. Only years later did I discover what she was thinking…
God is a dumpster diver. Yes, God IS a dumpster diver. He dove after Moses, David, Rahab, Paul, and a whole lot of other people that had been thrown away. Moses was a murderer, David too small and scrawny, Rahab was a ‘woman of the night’, Paul a religious, narrow-minded persecuting zealot. All of them were damaged goods. All of them had been ‘thrown away’ by their families, their nations, their national leaders and in general, by any self respecting person of their day. They were the refuse in the dumpsters of society. Jesus was criticized because He frequented the homes of outcasts, ate and drank with them. It’s hard to find anyone in the Bible who accomplished much of anything who was not thrown away by those who knew them best.
But God sees in us what other people don’t see. God sees in us what we don’t even see. God sees all that we were made to be and He sees all that we still can be. Until the dumpster is hauled off and its contents burned in flames, those who have been thrown away, seen as not much count, are still valuable to God. I think He searches the dumpsters of the world looking for those that everyone else has given up on. When He gets His hands on them, they become something of beauty to behold!

Where is Superman?

Superman logo nice backgroundWhere is Superman?

“Nuke ’em til they glow!” I felt that way after 9/11. As a technician in the Air Force during the cold war I spent six years in my job of making sure ‘the button’ would do just that. We had 64 H-bombs parked at the end of the runway. We would say, ‘Close counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and thermo-nuclear war!”
Once again since Monday’s bombing in Boston that feeling is felt by many.
When God came to live among us He could have been born as a ‘Superman’ capable of executing justice on behalf of millions and preventing such calamities from ever taking place. So why wasn’t Jesus ‘the Man of Steel? After all, as God He could have chosen where, when and how He would come to live among us. But with all that power He never hit back.
This week I felt anger and hurt. I nursed it for a day or so. Every thought of the offense against me renewed my desire for justice and bitterness began to root. Today I just walked away from it and in doing so peace returned. It was God in me who ‘talked me though it’.
If I did not have God deep within to wrest my anger and my desire for retribution from my hand then what would I do? It has been said that if we all lived by an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, the whole world would be blind and toothless. No, Jesus came not to exact revenge or force justice but to change the human heart. The only answer in a world filled with hate and violence is the One who took the anger from my heart once again. Only God can change the heart and make the world right again.