Inspiration at the Garbage Dump

Inspiration at the Garbage Dump

By Pastor Colin Griffiths

Spring is my favorite time of year because I get to work in my garden again. It’s been great to get the roses pruned and get started on a general cleanup of all the winter damage.

On Monday, I took a couple of loads of yard waste to the dump and couldn’t help but notice how much stuff was being thrown away. Believe it or not, even a trip to the garbage dump can become a moment of profound spiritual insight. Standing there, looking at the pile of yard waste, scrap metal, old household appliances and general garbage, I was reminded of the words of the environmental activist Amy Leonard: “ There is no away, when you throw something away, it goes somewhere.”

And my grasshopper mind leapt to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:43, 44 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”

It actually wasn’t a really wild leap, The bridge between the garbage dump and the words of Jesus comes from Dr Martin, Luther King Jr, who suggested that we can’t throw our enemies away. I think he’s getting at the idea that people aren’t disposable despite cancel culture’s best efforts. He says that “the only way to get rid of our enemies is to turn them into friends” and “love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend“

It seems to me that we live in the “in between” of two realities. on the one hand there is the reality of life that seems determined to be destructive and on the other we see the breaking in of God’s kingdom, present in love and joy. I get a taste of it in my garden as I remove the layer of leaves that was protecting the plants and the crocuses show their color and the bees return – I can’t help but hear the words of Jesus “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.. And I find myself praying “Father, thank you for resurrection hope, Teach me to Love the way You do”