He sat straight up as I looked in on him. His black hair, tanned face and pointed beard were framed by the lid and sides of the green dumpster at the side of my office building. An 8-foot dumpster tucked into the slot between the side fence and the air conditioner unit.
The palm tree overhead and the prickly hedge provided a safe and warmer sanctuary than any other place on the street. We seldom put garbage in the dumpster, just office stuff like papers and boxes and trash from the bathrooms. Safer, private, and warmer that is until I came early with box of stuff Judy asked me to "put in the dumpster at the office."
It was 6:30 A.M. and there were no other cars in the lot. Just me, my trash, and the green dumpster...or so I thought. Holding my brown cardboard box of disposables in my left hand, I raised the lid, and there he was! Instantly awake he said, "I'm sleeping in here." And I replied, "Sorry to bother you."
"Sorry to bother you?" You have got to be kidding! I said, "Sorry to bother you." Really? "Sorry to bother you"? I could have said, What are you doing here? Or, get out of here & never come back, I'm going to call the police. Or I could have said, "Are you ok? Or are you hungry, want something to eat? Or even, are you cold, need a jacket or a blanket?"
Instead I said, " Sorry to bother you" And then, "Go back to sleep. I'll leave my box on the ground, please dump it in when you get up." As I walked away I was full of mixed emotions. Surprise, shock, a little fear, and much confusion. I know what I did, but what should I have done? Surprise, shock, a little fear, and much confusion. I know what I did, but what should I have done? What would Jesus do? I continue to explore the lessons for me to learn? What would you have done? And what will I do next time?
What do you do when the missions field is at your front door? Love to have you share your thoughts, perspectives or similar stories. I must admit, retirement planning issues were not on my mind.
Living with Trusted Advice together,
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