What is Your Trash Can’s Name?
I am not going to update on last night’s opening main session at the Orange Conference….yet. There really are no words to say that can describe how God wrenched my heart, so I will process a little more and share later. I am preparing to post about one of the “game changers” which consumed my pre-conference breakouts. That, too, will post in the near future.
However, I do want to share a story of a unique trash can I noticed while leaving the conference last night. Hang in there with me, ok?
The conference was pretty emotional for me, and super exhausting. I can’t remember the last time that I poured so much of myself into worshiping our King. At some point, I believe that the custodial staff brought out “Caution: Wet Floor” signs and placed them around me and my puddle of tears. When the conference finished, I moved slowly across the arena floor, and paused at every other step while hiking back up to the entrance. I was moving so slowly, I fully expected someone to come from behind me with a wheelchair and whisk me away to my car.
As people exited the building, a small army of custodians emerged from elevators and closets. With cleaning tools in hand, they began the huge task of restoring the facility to its original state. Leaving the elevator last was a young man pushing a gray trash can on wheels. It was a good, sturdy commercial trash cart, one that you would throw several bags of trash in before delivering it the the dumpster. As one could safely assume, it was nasty looking. Sticky remains of soft drinks doted the top, while the inside had its share of unknown stains. I have seen better looking trash cans, and I have seen worse. However, my thoughts on the condition of the trash faded quickly when I noticed something very peculiar. As I looked closer, there was a word written on the side of the trash cart. The letters were:
C – H – O – S – E – N
I immediately began to wonder who and why someone would write chosen on the side of trash can. Didn’t really make much sense, but I quickly dismissed it and continued on. Within seconds God stopped me in my tracks, opened up my eyes, and showed me something incredible.
He reminded me that I, too, used to be stinky and dirty, like that trash cart.
He convicted me of the times that I have treated other people like that trash cart
He helped me to see that even at my worst, I was still “chosen” by God’s grace He freely gives to all.
As Reggie Joyner shared last night, “Engage in a Gospel that transcends culture. Trust a God who’s bigger than your categories.” We are a mess, reaching people who are a mess, with the love of God. Let’s not hesitate to share and love. We will get messy, and that’s part of it.