by Rev. Benjamin Chung
One morning, I was in front of my house and the garbage truck was just pulling up to pick up my garbage. I thought I’d say “hi” and thank the essential worker for his work. What I also did to break the ice was ask how things were and what was strangest thing he ever found in the garbage. His first response was that work can sometimes be difficult as there’s more garbage and sometimes people can be impatient when they are stuck behind him on a narrow road.
His second answer was more shocking. He shared that it wasn’t him, but other coworkers who happened to grab a garbage bin when working in the financial district, only to have a person jump out and surprise him. My first thought was that this was someone playing a prank on the garbageman, as I’ve seen videos of this happening. But those videos were often filmed in a suburban neighborhood, while this event was happening in downtown SF. What happened was, homeless people were sleeping in the trash bins in the winter when it got cold, because at least they had a solid but temporary four walls and a roof over their head. Other times, homeless people who were sleeping in the larger metal garbage bins were thrown into the trash compactor and almost crushed alive! Thankfully, their banging on the side of the garbage truck loud enough to get the attention of the garbage man and have him stop the compactor.
Every life is precious. Every life is essential and necessary, for every life is made by God and part of His wonderful design. We see this Jesus’s ministry, when He interacted with Jews and Gentiles, teaching and healing all who came to Him. From the Roman centurion, to the Samaritan woman, to the Syrophoenician woman, to even the Samaritan leper. Each person was valuable in Jesus’s eyes. Even yours! Remember that Jesus loves you too! Speaking of the Samaritan leper, Jesus didn’t just heal him, but a total of ten lepers! The others were likely Jews, while this man was a Samaritan. And yet, only he returned to thank Jesus for healing him of his leprosy (Luke 17:11-19).
Even during this pandemic, surrender your life to Him. Jesus will take care of your insecurities, infirmities and even the deadly coronavirus. Don’t think of surrendering as just the day you came to faith, but think of surrender as a continual reliance on God. As you do so, you will also come to acknowledge the essential work of our LORD Jesus Christ—and your only response is going to be thankful praise!