Maybe some people get their miracles in pretty packages with rich, rainbow-colored ribbons aloft and atop. Maybe other people get their miracles with bodacious bouquets of raspberry-flavored roses and big boxes of chocolate candy and fireworks, lightning bolts, burning bushes, and accompanied by a thunder-booming voice from heaven. Call me plain-Jane ordinary, call me too down to earth, thrift-shop-chick, too cool-less, clueless, and who knows what else for the kind of miracle that would drive millions of people to listen to my testimony and drop to the ground with Holy Ghost goose pimples and “oh-my-God, what a testimony” shouts of amazement and “hallelujahs, praise the Lord” shouts from the crowd. What crowd? There wasn’t a crowd at all when I got my miracle today, and the local garbage dump wasn’t exactly the prettiest, coolest, yummy-smelling-at-all, location for the precious gift I received from my King, my Lord, and the love of my life today, my Savior Jesus. The garbage dump? Yup. You got that right. The local landfill. Just call it my miracle at the dump.
I had about as much energy this afternoon as it would take for me to load up my car with handicapped-dog-diaper-poop and stuff, and a little bit of this and a little bit of that. My energy was too low to complain about the smell in my car hauling the garbage off to the dump, and I didn’t think much of the smell even when I prolonged my journey to the dump by adding in an out-of-the-way stop at the post office box and the thrift shop to purchase a dog-hair-eating-shop-vac for a whopping $10 and a 15-cent Christian book. Low energy isn’t anything new for me these days. I have been walking through the valley of the shadow of death in more ways than one. The details? It really doesn’t matter. It is neither here nor there. Suffice it to say life’s been a little rough recently, and trudging through my days has been exactly that. Trudging. Putting one foot in front of the other, doing my best to shove the darkness out of the way – or not. Sometimes just trudging through the darkness and letting it be – too tired to fight at times. Other times, fighting to no avail – forgetting the battle is the Lord’s. If anyone has needed a miracle recently, the world has. And so have I. I suppose we all need our miracles, and perhaps we all need miracles of different sources. I only know there is only one source of a true miracle, and His name is the Lord. But little did I know what the Lord had up His sleeve this afternoon – until I got to the dump and began to unload.
It wasn’t so long ago I brought a big smile to the dump, looking for open doors to share the Gospel with a worker at the dump who practices a false religion. Or handing a copy of my book “Slow Dance with Jesus” to a woman who used to work there who suffers from an eating disorder and perhaps more. Or sharing a hug with a sister in Christ who also works – or works there. I try to always be open to opportunities to minister to others, most importantly to share the Gospel, to minister His love to someone in need. If the truth be told, I hadn’t expected to receive a miracle at the dump – not ever. I’ve been too busy each time I’ve visited there either dumping my rubbish to rush off to church, hurrying to unload by garbage to get out of the way of the car behind me, sharing with someone perhaps in need, forcing a smile when I wasn’t in the best of moods, and who knows what else. But a miracle? For me? At the dump? Yup. I’ve heard it said God meets us where we are. He certainly does. Wherever. Whenever. He chooses.
“Hey,” the voice said today when I’d finished unloading my garbage. I looked at the owner of the voice. The latest addition to the staff at the garbage dump.
Was he saying hello? Was he asking me to walk over to him? His hand reached out and beckoned me. His finger curled inward to motion me near. Really? Today? Did someone really want to talk to me, when I had so little energy, so little desire to do anything except get through another couple of minutes of the day? I looked at him, confused. What did he want? Was he simply saying hello? Was he going to scold me for doing something wrong with where I had put my trash? Did he need something from me? Was I supposed to do something?
Yes. He clearly wanted me to walk over to him. I looked at him. A big fellow. Very. I had seen him for the first time only recently. I had said a quick hello to him a couple of times. Maybe I’d said, “God bless you.” I like to say that to people. Hopefully it blesses people. Often it surprises them. Some respond. Some don’t. Had he responded in the past? I think. I don’t know. I don’t really remember. I hadn’t given too much thought to it. But today, yes, today, he obviously wanted me to come over to him. So I did. Too tired to fight. Too tired not to walk the few steps over. Worn down. Worn by life. Trudging. So I trudged. Over to him.
Then he did. No, then He did it. The big “He.” The head honcho. My King. My Lord. The love of my life. My Savior. My redeemer. My everything. The light of my life. The what? My light? Of my life? Yes. Definitively, yes. At the dump. Yes, then God did it. And so did the man. He did for the Lord what He could not possibly have known except by the Holy Spirit what I so desperately needed – needed not from the man, but from my Lord. At the dump. Yes, even at the dump. The garbage dump of all places.
I have no idea if the man said another word. In fact, I didn’t get the impression he is the talkative type. I don’t even remember his voice. I only remember what he did.
He reached out his hand to me and handed me a card. Maybe he told me to read what it said. I don’t recall. I simply looked down at the card and burst into tears. How could I not.
“By His light I walked through darkness.” Job 29:3
I think the man told me to flip the card over, and I quickly read the words about living my life for Christ. Or something like that. And I responded something. Something about how I live for Christ. But this was not what I needed. It was the scripture. The verse. One I had never seen. Never heard. Probably read and overlooked. Scanned right over. Until today. Until this afternoon. Until a total stranger a the dump gave me the card.
I opened my arms and wrapped them around the man to thank him. He was too big for my arms to wrap completely around, but it didn’t matter. He got the point. And, most importantly, I didn’t need to wrap my arms around him. Because my Lord had already wrapped His arms completely around me, reminding me He never lets go. He never stops loving me. He never stops showing me His mercy. He never stops telling me in all sorts of ways, “I am here for you. You are not alone. You are walking with me. And I walk with you. And even in the darkness, I am there. With you. Your light. I am your light, your love, no matter how dark it gets.”
I left the garbage dump in tears. I called a friend and shared the story – in tears. And I came home with a smile in my heart – despite the darkness I still trudge through. And I am reminded, I am not alone.
His light is ever-present.
The love of my life. His light is not contingent on the world around me. His light is contingent on Him. He is my light. My love. The light of my life. The love of my life.
My miracle at the dump.
A reminder that even in the darkness of this world, there is light.
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12 KJV
The world is getting ever darker. But the light of the Lord is as bright as ever. Do not look to the world, for you will only get lost in its darkness. Look to the Lord, rest in Him, press into Him, seek Him, fall into Him, hold on for dear life, to the light of life, let Him be the love of your life. Call on the name of the Lord. Jesus.