Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Garbage and Gatorade

The other day I felt convicted by a viral Facebook video.

(pause for just a minute to reflect on how extra-bad that feels. It's like lowest common denominator shame. But the truth comes in all forms, so here we are.)

It was a quick little clip, and one which you may have already seen...it's garbage day, and as the truck pulls up to their house, a couple of little kids run out to greet the guys, excited to see them and bring them each a bottle of Gatorade. It seems like a weekly ritual, as the two workers are greeted by name ("Hi, Mr Rob!") and they happily get out of the truck, scooping up the kids, and letting them "help" load their cans on the truck.

And that's it. 

But it's also kind of everything. 

The video is barely over a minute, but it was enough to show me how community, and serving, and love is done.

I often lament (in a self-aware manner of my #firstworldproblem perspective at least...but lament nonetheless) that I struggle to find time and ways to serve in my community. After all, I have three small kids, and a full time job...even the smallest efforts seem like just too much on top of everything I'm already trying to juggle. I can't bring someone a meal, or visit them in the hospital, or drive down to the soup kitchen...I've got my own little people who need me. And even if I could serve- where are my opportunities? Where is the need? Maybe if we were in the city...but out here in the suburbs? At my office? Many of the people I'm surrounded by each day are better off than we are, what could I do that would even be worthwhile?

(This is where God...and Facebook...step in to basically say: Ummmmm, you're missing it, dummy.)

I may not have a ton of extra time (who does?) or endless streams of money (who does?) but I do have garbage men, and I do have Gatorade (well...I could get some, anyway). I actually even have three little helpers!

Yes, it's reasonable to feel strapped for time, and buried under children. And yes, it's fair to struggle with knowing where to serve, who to serve, and how to serve.

But serving doesn't have to be hard. Community doesn't have to be complicated.
Loving others can (and should) be woven seamlessly into your life (my life), even if that love just looks like a couple of cold drinks for someone who could use them. In these hectic and full days as a mom of little ones, I may not feel like I have much left to give- but I assuredly still have something someone needs. Maybe it's a smile, it might be a hug, perhaps it's advice, or just a well timed bit-moji text encouragement...In the end, it's all just compassion. And there's no reason I can't have that.

Let's go give love like a toddler greeting a garbage man. Loudly, messily, simply and with our whole hearts.
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