I don’t know how it’s done in other parts of the world, but in Australia we have periodic ‘Council Clean-ups’, where residents are informed they can leave their rubbish in front of their house on a particular day – large items like broken fridges and old cupboards that don’t fit into our rubbish bins. On that pre-assigned day, garbage collectors will move around the streets, loading the old items onto their trucks and crushing them immediately.
My husband and I were observing them do this the other day, after weeks of seeing neighbours pile up their old wares. The men with that task were muscular, and seemed so efficient. But I wondered why they’d be willing to do it. I didn’t fancy the task of getting my hands dirty and loading item after item of other people’s broken, unwanted goods. It would take dedication, strength and tenacity to keep going, from one house to the next.
It made me think of the unwanted ‘garbage’ of our emotional lives. The sins we try and get rid of and the issues we can’t seem to wrench away. Who would be up to the task of cleaning out all of this? Of sorting through the memories, pain, grief and loss we’ve shouldered for so long. And it does take work. Usually helping others with their problems is systematic, painstaking… incredibly heartbreaking at times. Especially when they keep wanting to take their ‘stuff’ back inside the house. But if we’re to be the hands and feet of Christ in this dark and broken world, we need to be prepared to work hard. To go deep. And to be real about our own struggles too. But we don’t do this battle alone. In Christ’s strength, and with His help, we can find the healing we need, the resolve to live better, and the courage to wrench free from the past. All things are possible.
The truck is waiting, and Jesus is at the steering wheel. Let’s let Him lead us to the right houses.