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Let me count the ways
By Linda Wegner

While strolling through the mall I chatted with one of the security staff and mentioned to him that one of the "parking lot regulars" had accidently dumped his load of cans and bottles. His response both surprised and blessed me, wishing now I'd gone over and helped pick up the mess.

Over the months I've seen Joe (not his real name) near the city bus terminal and assumed he was in need of extra cash, a situation not all that uncommon. He always sits on a chair beside several grocery carts furnished with huge plastic bags, room enough for lots of empty cans and bottles. I've also wondered how he got so many on a daily basis and how come he was allowed to be there, not far from the entrance to one of our city's shopping malls.

Not only that, I was always surprised by the number of people who drove up each morning to deposit their cans and bottles with him. As it turns out, this gentleman's dedication to collecting, sorting and selling his "merchandise" has nothing to do with his personal betterment.

"No," the security guy told me, "Joe collects those things until noon, then he goes and has lunch. After that he takes the cans and bottle to the recycle place, sells them and with the money he gets, he purchases gift cards to distribute to single moms and/or others in need. He's back at it again the next morning."

Shortly after that conversation I boarded the bus for the ride home. During those quiet moments I found myself both taken aback by my assumptions about him but all the while praising God for the myriad ways in which we can serve Him.

"God has given each of you a gift.... Use [it] well to serve one another." 1 Peter 4:10 
March 18, 2019