I was looking at some old blogs and this one brought back memories. I am in the trash hauling business, yet I do much more than haul trash. This is my story about a family in need and how we were able to help.
I sensed some anxiety in his voice. On the surface it was a simple job, yet there appeared to be something more just below the surface. The extent of the job was always in flux. It took about a month of on and off communication. Finally, I invited myself to the home to help evaluate the situation, make some suggestions, and hopefully leave with a job and a check.
Arriving, I met Andy and his wife Kathleen. They had the task to empty the house of its contents for the former resident who had recently passed away. The little house was full of possessions and the garage heavy with stuff. There was no room to separate treasures from trash.
I suggested that we clean an area out in the garage with the expectation of creating a staging area. As we worked it became obvious that here were nostalgic reactions towards some of the things. It seemed that behind every item there was a story.
As we worked, we chatted. As we chatted details were slowly revealed. My initial reaction was correct; there was a much deeper story than emptying the house of a departed friend. There was a greater burden on the hearts and mind of Andy and Kathleen as they sorted through the memories. As we worked and chatted I learned that the former resident was more than a friend, it was their son.
In the end, we spent two afternoons together, just a few short hours. I got to know Andy and Kathleen personally. I learned a lot about their son, a man with many talents, ideas, hobbies, and dreams. All taken away suddenly.
Andy and his wife were strong as they went about their task. I do not know where they garnered their strength. As I finalized the last load, I was overcome with a desire, a need to do something for the family. I suddenly found myself in a group hug and asked them if we could pray together.
Ministry opportunities abound. People all around us are in need of something. My actions that day were not planned, yet it was something I needed to do. I don’t know who I helped more, Andy and his wife or me. I do know it felt good.