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the garbage man
by kelechi ajoku
08/06/05
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“ Sir do you really want to have all these thrown away?” …the man asked cautiously with a bemused grin splashed across his face. He had gone from doorstep to doorstep, getting rid of thrash. But as he looked at what I called garbage, he could think of a couple of things he could do with my stuff…sorry, I meant to say my thrash.
I wanted to explain the relief and joy, I felt getting rid of the garbage that crowded my space but hey…on second thought, I probably didn’t have to (except for courtesy sake) because that’s what we do with thrash and garbage: we get rid of it
I can recall a scene from the movie: ‘waiting to exhale’, the part where Angela basset’s character gathers all her estranged husbands stuff and begins to burn them up. A couple of cops drive by, and they see this angry looking lady burning stuff in front of her house. They say something about it not being to legal to burn stuff out there unless it’s thrash. She looks at them cynically and emphatically says: “that’s thrash”.
To them she was burning up a bunch of designer’s suits, but to her it was all thrash and garbage.

Something about us can’t stand garbage, even those we see as the thrash of human society. The not good enough, the screw-ups…no one wants to touch him or her. I mean who wants to get their hands dirty? So we burn them up, with our words, scorn and our attitude we burn them up. But little do we know that the treasures we fail to see in people around us, someone else saw and was willing to put his life on the line for the to gain the right to enjoy life.

Calvary was the scene, the place where he healed and still heals. The broken came and he healed them. The hookers and junkies, pimps and johns, thieves and robbers, adulterers and fornicators, perverts and the abused, gay and lesbians…they all came to Calvary, the place where his blood did the laundry. The place he took all the garbage heaps of humanity on his shoulders. He saw them all, loved them all, touched them all and healed them all. Any heart that came he healed. he was never afraid to get his fingers into the garbage, because where men saw garbage he saw gold.

The lepers no one would touch, he touched. The forbidden and forsaken found hope in His presence. The ones who couldn’t fit into the social systems of contemporary society found a place in his heart. The ones whose filth religion could not touch for fear of contamination, he was never afraid to embrace. Their tears he still wipes with nail scarred hands, the sticky filth of sin he washed with his precious blood.
He looked at our filth band said
“ In you I see pearls and gold
honour and greatness
A star that outshines the sun
Beauty unimagined
In you I see treasures ands riches
A light of hope for a dying world.”

He turned everything that was thrash within us into gold and he taught us to love.




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