Go to the dump. Do not pass go.
What do you associate with a trip to the dump?
What does your local garbage or recycling center look like?
When has a preacher delivered a message to you on top of a trash can?
A landfill is hardly a podium I’d considered Holy Ground!
In Jeremiah 19:2-3, God called Jeremiah to preach at the entrance of a dump. Jeremiah needed to warn some rebellious people that they faced catastrophe if they continued their trashy living. Jeremiah was also instructed to take priests and elders of the people with him. All aboard the garbage truck!
I picture how I’d respond if someone, especially a minister, asked me to join them at the junkyard. I’m not sure I’d jump on that bandwagon. I’d presume the request may have come when the pastor was down in the dumps.
However, this hefty group of people agreed to join Jeremiah at a church without walls. It had no music, HVAC or sound system. The stained-glass windows were probably shards of colored glass.
Jeremiah followed God’s nontraditional lead to deliver a warning to people who were killing innocent people. They’d been using their sons for fire starters as sacrifices to false gods. They refused to worship One God and Jeremiah’s disaster relief team was sent to clean-up.
I’ve found myself in badlands and dumpy areas. Some scruffy spots have been physical. Sometimes I fill my emotional, mental and spiritual landfill with junk. Holy Spirit reminds me, “Christina, don’t waste your wasteland. It’s all My land. I create and sustain it as I choose. I can recycle, repurpose and reuse anything for good when you invite me to enter the stench that the world emits.”
Like Jeremiah’s waste management specialists, I’m called to spread sunshine, one smile at a time. I may be having a dry moment, but I can become someone’s freshwater basin when I use His goods to share.
Jesus, thank you for meeting me wherever I am. You’ve found me in divine places. You’ve protected me in the dumps. Show me how to reduce my waste and allow you to reuse and recycle for all creation’s good.
With pollution protection, I refuse to give up,
“And go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and there the words that I will tell you and say, ‘hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem” (Jer. 19:2-3).