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The Man Who Picks Up My Garbage

The Man Who Picks Up My Garbage

Posted on May 10, 2018 by TJ Therrien

I had a broken carpet cleaner sitting in my basement for three years.

I kept saying to my wife, “I can fix this. I’m sure it’s still good. I’ll get to it at some point.” Never mind that I had another carpet cleaner—fully functioning—sitting right beside it. I couldn’t let go. We had fond memories together washing the basement Berber after my labrador let loose a few times (if you know what I mean). It took up space and got in my way, but I let it sit there.

It turns out my neighborhood has a guy who collects junk. I have no idea why.On garbage day, as the sun rises, he drives a rusty truck with a big old trailer dragging behind. Driving slowly through the streets, he rolls along, searching for treasure.

Up ahead, he spots an old stove sitting next to a garbage can. The truck comes to a stop, his boots hit the pavement, and without hesitation he places the broken stove into his trailer. Bingo. Then, onto the next treasure.

Piles of wood. Rolls of carpet. Deep freezers, fans, and futons. Most of it is junk, outdated and broken—but not to him. Whether he plans to repair and restore the junk for a profit, or he hoards as a hobby, this man sees the junk at the end of your driveway and says, “I’ll take this.”

I finally decided to let go of my carpet cleaner, hoping the man would take it from me. I placed it on the curb and the next morning—miraculously—it was gone. As my house gained a little square-footage, I felt a strange sensation: Relief.

I think Jesus is kind of like the guy who picks up my garbage. Personally, my garbage looks like anxiety about the future, resentment, and shame from the stupid decisions I’ve made in the past. I hold onto my junk and it ends up sitting around and weighing me down for months, like a bulky Hoover carpet cleaner.

Why? I’ll get to it, I think. It’s something I’ll deal with later.

But then I'm reminded that I can give my burdens away. At the end of the driveway my junk sits, and Jesus says, “I’ll take this.”

Psalm 55:22 says, “Give your burdens to the Lord and He will take care of you.” I'm trying to take Him up on this more often. Because when I give Him my burdens, I feel relief. I experience grace. I wonder what took me so long.

So, what garbage are you holding onto? Place on the curb tonight.


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