This morning, I took the garbage out. It is not something I normally do, but I had convinced Joel that the garbage men would not be coming today because there had been President's day on Monday. When there is a holiday at the start of the work week, they always come a day late. But as Hannah and I were in her room about to read stories, we heard their distinctive sound coming down our lane. I took the garbage out and saw them there, dutifully putting garbage into to their truck in order to haul it away and maybe one day make a ski hill out of it.
Well, Joel didn't take President's day off either. When this was pointed out he mentioned that he has more in common with the garbage man than he thought. He later expanded by saying they both take out the garbage and work on President's day. But I think the similarities go on beyond that.
You see Joel is a pastor, he deals with people's unwanted stuff all the time, whether it's emotions, events, thoughts, or actions, people come to Joel to help them get rid of things so that they can be filled up with the God stuff. The garbage man takes my refuse so that I can go out and buy more refuse to keep my house at a happy equality of stuff.
Joel does a lot of stuff that you don't think about but you expect. You see the job of the garbage man is not to just pick up my trash and put it in the truck, which is the part I see, but he also takes it somewhere and does something with it and how many times the garbage man does that on any given day, I'm not really sure. Joel spends a lot of time with Jesus dropping off and picking up, much more that what I can see on Sunday mornings when he preachs or on Wednesday when he teaches.
Joel finds treasure in people's junk. Joel and all pastors for that matter have been given the ability to help people go through their stuff and find the treasures that God has placed there, and sometimes it's the stuff that they don't really want to keep around or they've never learned how it fits into their life, so they are willing to chuck it. There are pains from our past that God has been working on with us, for us, so that we can let his Glory shine through. I know for me, part of that has been past sexual abuse that God has somehow redeemed and allowed me to use for His glory. I also know that God did mighty work through my depression. Something I would never have wished for and for a while was desparate to get rid of, but then God showed me how much pain and brokenness there was in the Christian world in regards to dealing with mental illness. I am thankful for that time in my life and for the things that God taught me. It is something that I would never have thought would be a treasure or that I would want to keep a memory of, but it continues to heal me in new ways.
Joel doesn't take a lot of holidays, but he also doesn't take his work with him during Sabbaths. I kid you not, that man has developed the gift of being able to step away so that God can place his rest within Joel's soul. It is amazing to see it happen. I feel sure that garbage men don't sit around on their days off wondering if this is going to be the week that old man furgus decides to clean out his garage.
Joel has a quiet job that is easy to over look, unless it's not getting done. Did you see the Simpson's episode where they stopped taking Homer's trash? It piled up fast. So even though I don't say thank you nearly enough to my garbage men or Joel, I am grateful that both have said yes to the work they do.
So there you have, Joel and The Garbage Man. Take a moment this week and thank your pastor and your garbage man or anyone that goes unnoticed.