It was a cool, rainy day and I was feeling the effects of a cold. In our car port, our garbage pail was so full that the lid would not stay closed. We had been playing raccoon roulette (gambling raccoons wouldn’t come and empty garbage all over) for a few days so I slung the heavy, stinky garbage bag into the back of my pickup truck along with 3 or 4 blue boxes of sorted recyclables, and drove to the dump. It was just the miserable task that the miserable day and my miserable nose called for.

Arriving at the dumping depot and glad that it had at least stopped raining, I hoisted the garbage bag into the facility’s compactor and then backed my truck up to recycling pile. Emptying my blue boxes, I took my paper to the paper bin, metal to the metal bin, glass and tin to the glass and tin bins and then I tossed the rest in the “household” pile.

While doing so I noticed a family of rats (I assume they were related) scurrying amidst the remnants of my city’s consumerism. Rats in garbage certainly fit my mood. And then it happened.

Suddenly, sunshine broke through the clouds and I heard a choir singing and booming out glorious Christmas music. Really!

My grey, rat-infested mood was immediately conquered and vanquished as notes and chords and voices proclaimed the birth of Jesus, God’s gift to us to save us from our sins and ourselves.

I soon discovered the source of this divine melody was the little shed where everyone pays for dropping off their garbage. There, on the counter, was an old boom-box and some Christmas CDs that had been rescued by the garbage attendants, today’s equivalent of Bible-time shepherds.

I have held that trip to the waste yard, which ended so festively, close in my heart this Christmas because like many this time of the year, my thoughts and feelings have been prone to tilt towards the “dump” side of life.

This year brought a couple of very rich and celebratory times in my life and the life of my family, but it has also been a challenging year which I spent one quarter sick with the worst virus I have ever had, and 10 months of being stretched by outer and inner life change. Add to that my mother-in-law’s passing in November and I can sum things up no better than my wife did at the end of our Christmas card, “We are still adjusting.”

Maybe this Christmas, you too are “still adjusting” to a rough time and big changes in life. You may be missing the presence of loved ones who can’t be home because they are imprisoned, sick, serving overseas, estranged from you, or passed from this life.

Perhaps you are missing the old you, lost in an unrelenting world of change that has left you in a pile where confusion and hurt and sadness scurries to the forefront just when you think things are getting better.

If you are spending this Christmas in the dump, let the message of this season part the clouds for you and push the darkness of inner fear and doubt away. “Christ is born!” is the “Help is here!” of every soul languishing in this world that ravishes us with the consequences of our and other’s sins.

Jesus, the Savior of the world is ready to begin, or restart, a work of healing and forgiveness in all those broken by their broken choices and in all those broken by this broken world.

Calling on Jesus is the single most important “adjustment” one can make in the dumps of life.

Pastor Tim Davis

3 Responses to Christmas in the Dump

  1. Donald Ray says:

    This Christmas marks about the eighth year of celebrating the birth of our Saviour while I suffer with a chronic pain disease. Most days are, at times, filled with very painful moments and pain flares that make me squirm and moan. All days are filled with the side affects of taking an enormous amount of pain medication. Very few people realize that chronic pain patients are slammed by both the disease and “the meds”.
    But even through the pain and the fog of meds there is this bright and shining star that cuts through all distractions and lets me know that there is our God. He blows away the fears, disposes of the doubts and lets me know that He is the way, the truth and the life eternal. My pain becomes less and my mind clears when I think of the majesty and the complete control of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. What a joy and a blessing we celebrate in December each year when we see through the gifts and the feasts in front of us to see our Creator, Redeemer and true Light of the World! Merry Christmas and may God bless you and yours this season.

  2. Agnes Ngingo says:

    What an encouraging message which I believe will touch many of us. Truly looking up to Jesus is the only way that we are able to get out of the dump.

    Thank you for sharing your experience as I believe I will share this article with others.

    God bless you all as you continue blessing others and a Merry and blessed Christmas.

  3. DeLayne Milby says:

    What a WONDERFUL message!!

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