​​The Arms of Jesus Children's Mission

The Garbage, a special Lady and a tin of coke!


Dr. Sam Martin

It was one of those things I just could not get out of my mind! And driving to the office this morning I felt I had to share it with the staff in our devotional time, and I had to write it for the Blog, trusting it will be an encouragement and inspiration to all who read it.

Every week people place their garbage at the end of the driveway knowing that no matter the weather, the Garbage Truck will come along and the driver will get out and pick up the bags or boxes and empty the garbage into the truck.

The lady, looking at the garbage placed at homes along the street, began to think about ‘The Garbage Man.’ Yes the driver of the truck who week by week stops and picks up the garbage, throws it into the truck and moves on to the next home. She wondered if anyone ever took the time to thank him. Rather than just wonder, she decided to do something.

She left her home when she heard the garbage truck in the distance and walked down her driveway and stood beside the garbage. Slowly but surely, the truck stopped at where she was standing and the driver got out. The lady said, “excuse me can I speak with you please.” The driver walked towards her and she knew by his eyes he was not sure what was about to happen and no doubt he is wondering, ‘what have I done.’ When he reached her, she said “Hi, I just want to thank you for what you do each week, I know it can’t be easy and I want you to know I appreciate it, so again thank-you.”

He was somewhat taken aback. He took his gloves off, reached out his hand and as he shook the lady’s hand, he expressed his surprised thanks. They spoke for a few moments. He shared a little about his life and as he made to get back into the truck, the lady said, “By the way would you like a coke? And pulled a coke from her pocket and he was delighted to take it. He jumped in the truck and drove off waving.

Now I wonder how that garbage man felt? What impact did that simple act of kindness have on him? Why share this? Let me answer in three simple ways:

First of all, with a song I heard as a child back in Scotland:

If I can help somebody, as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song
Then, my living shall not be in vain!

Secondly, with a saying I heard somewhere in the past and which is wildly known:

‘One kind act can transform someone’s day, and sometimes it’s not what you say but what you do that can change people.’

Thirdly, and most importantly the teaching of Scripture. Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians Church these words (Chapter 9 v 13-14):

‘As a result of your ministry, men will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.’

‘A Garbage man, a lady and a coke’ and a special but simple act of kindness and that brings to mind another old Gospel song:

Cups of cold water, given in Jesus' name,
Cups of cold water are never given in vain.
Someday in heaven when we meet the Lord,
Each deed of kindness will bring a rich reward.
By the way, the Lady was and is my wife!