Thursday, October 22, 2009

Follow The Garbage

I hugged my son just a little harder today. I watched him walk into the school just a little longer. Why? Yesterday they found the body of a 7-year old girl in a landfill in Georgia. How did they find the little girl's body? One of the detectives had an idea to follow garbage trucks to the landfill. A police chief on TV said they would have never found the little girl's body if they had not followed the garbage trucks. A beautiful little girl is dead. A family grieves. A community mourns and wonders why. Closure can begin because someone followed the garbage.

It's not often that we come up with an idea to follow the garbage. When the idea comes to mind, we refuse to go to the landfill. If we follow the garbage we might find things we don't want to see. It's dangerous. Garbage is ugly. It's not pretty. Garbage can be ugly at first but after some digging we can find beauty. I followed garbage by stepping into the lives of the homeless and discovered the reality of their lives. In return they gave me back the beauty of their love.

Garbage can be ugly and remain ugly if it remains hidden. Today in this blog post, I am asking God to help me go digging in the landfill of my sin. I need to follow the garbage to uncover my dirty, stinky, rotting sin. By sincerely asking God to join me on my trip to the landfill, He will stand beside me as I dig. After being discovered, my sin can be discussed with others I trust, confessed to God and forgiven.

God can turn your garbage into greatness. God is waiting to join you on the trip to the landfill. Follow the garbage.


  1. I followed your tweet over here, Mike. I don't know what to say yet. I'll be back.

  2. "God can turn your garbage into greatness." AMEN!!! AMEN!! Thanks for sharing this Mike!

  3. What a sad sad story. I like your application, but my mind can't leave the family left behind...or what the little girl suffered. The Devil hates us so much, and we love to flirt with him.

  4. Great post Mike. My favorite to date.

  5. Since you took this on four tangents, okay if I comment on each one?

    I hugged my son just a little harder today. I've dealt with much death. Our family's life is frequently disrupted by death because my husband the cop is called away to deal with it at all hours, interrupting anything. While we remember that each individual death has devastated someone's life, we can't let it do that to us each time. Nonetheless, I hug my kids and dance with them, teach them and struggle with them. I tuck them in with Psalms and prayer, kisses and singing (even the 16 yr old). Every day is precious.

    If we follow the garbage we might find things we don't want to see. It's dangerous. I won't allow any person, in any circumstance, to be seen as garbage. Whether outwardly smelly with homeless, matted hair, or inwardly smelly with unrepentant sin, beauty can be redeemed. Perhaps a person only needs another to uncover the beauty, because it's been so long forgotten.

    I need to follow the garbage to uncover my dirty, stinky, rotting sin. The dichotomy of the Christian life is that we are uncondemned because our sin is covered by blood, but our feet yet walk in the filth of sin and need to be washed with divine hands.

    God can turn your garbage into greatness. I've cried so many times, "Lord, why did you ever let me stray so long, so far in darkness?" A good friend said those memories are the spoils of Egypt. Having once been in bondage, we now better understand how to proclaim freedom to others.

    I'm trusting you don't mind me hijacking your blog, Mike. I love you, brother.

  6. BTW, I didn't mean to sound like the little girl's death isn't a horrific tragedy. It is.

    My heart is especially sad for the people who die and aren't missed. I know of a bicyclist killed in an accident, who had no ID, and it took months to learn who he was because no one missed him. Those are the deaths that hit me hardest--to think of a life passed into eternity without human notice.