By Ceil Ryan
I was sitting at my dining room table, paying bills.
As I licked the last envelope, I heard the familiar rumble of the garbage truck, driving slowly down our street. House by house, the truck tipped the contents of oversized cans into its front loader. In one motion, the garbage was gone.
As I thought about how good it feels to have all that refuse removed, I started to wonder about my own life. Over time, I collect refuse in my mind and heart too. I need to get rid of it, just like my kitchen garbage. So who are the "Trash Collectors" in my life?
All week, I am faced with busyness, the family schedule and hard choices. All the stress piles up, like so many scraps from lunchboxes and dinner plates, in my heart. If my burdens aren't emptied, I'm not going to function very well. Something's bound to get rotten, and I'm not going to be very fun to be around.
I know that Jesus is the ultimate restorer. But I am so thankful that he also sends us people to help haul away all the pent-up frustrations we hold so close to our hearts.
Have you read "Friend O' Mine" yet?
Although I have several people in my life that I can rely on, I have one special friend. I can tell her anything that's on my mind and heart. We say we're "having coffee," but you know what really happens when we meet?
We sit down at the little table with our paper cups of coffee, and it begins. I start backing up my truck. (Can you hear it beeping?) A few sentences into the conversation, and my hopper is at full tilt. There I am, dumping all my troubles and stress from the week into her peaceful, non-judgmental lap.
I thank God for her. When I am done talking, I feel so emptied and clean. It's such a wonderful feeling. With my stress meter on zero, I can enter the new week with renewed joy and energy.
She says I do the same thing for her. We are honored to be "Trash Collectors" for each other.
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So the next time you hear the familiar racket of the garbage truck on your street, do me a favor. Allow that sound to prompt you to thank the people in your life who listen when you unload your troubles.
Those people are peacemakers. They are your special gift from God.
Ceil Ryan is a writer, blogger, mom and "nana" living in the Midwest. She is trying to see the work of God in all the places of her life. Ceil blogs at www.ceilryan.com.