Sunday, January 04, 2004


We received the notice last week: "YOUR TURN IS COMING!"

It sounds more ominous than it is, it's actually the bright yellow door knob notice we get from the city every four months or so inviting us to pile brush clippings, old appliances, and almost anything else outside our house to be picked up by city trash crews. This is stuff the regular trash crews won't pick up, apparently because it's beneath them.

The notice invariably sparks a debate in our house.

I rummage around the garage and say, "Let's throw this useless item away" and Amy says, "Someone will buy that for 2 bucks at a garage sale."

I say, "But then we have to hold a garage sale" and Amy says, "We will one day". That debate goes on for a while until I gradually convince her that it would be worth 10 dollars or more to me to be able to walk into the garage without having to suck in my ever increasing gut.

Usually she'll capitulate enough to at least permit me to cast off a few things.

We have to have all the stuff we want hauled off out in front of our house by tomorrow morning. Then the city will let it sit there for a week or two. I believe this is some karma thing. In order to clean up our property we must also be willing to lower our property values by making the entire neighborhood look like a trash dump. I can live with that.

This time I got rid of an old TV. It was about 3 feet long with a 13 inch screen. If you got a picture on it, it was green. It didn't have a remote control. It didn't really have a channel changer, you had to use pliers. I don't even know where that TV came from, probably because it existed before I was born.

I also dragged out the unsalvageable remnants of my bicycle. That was painful, reliving that memory, but I took off the unbent tire, the lights, and walked away knowing the frame was bent, the handlebars were broken, one wheel was trashed, and it would have cost a fortune to fix.

I gladly unburdened us of the microwave with the crack in the door that was cooking our kidneys, and bits and pieces of an air conditioning unit I disassembled, as well as wood from an old water bed.

The pile hadn't been out front of the house for more than 2 hours before the doorbell rang.

"You throwing away that TV?"

Someone gladly took it.

Yesterday morning I noticed the microwave was gone - maybe somebody needed a kidney warmer.

Later in the morning, our new oven arrived. The delivery man was walking out and he said, "You throwing away that wood from a waterbed? I could use some of those boards"

This morning as we left for church I noticed some of the larger chunks of the air conditioner debris had been taken.

When we came home from church the mangled remains of my bicycle were gone.

There's virtually nothing left of the stuff I put out.

It's like the refuse rapture.

I know what you're saying and it's true, one man's trash is another man's treasure. But, this stuff was really trash.

Still it had value to someone obviously.

I guess this is a lot like grace.

"Hey, you throwing him away?"

"I think I'll take him...I still see something good there."

PSALM 49:15

But God will redeem my life from the grave; He will surely take me to Himself.