Royal Garbage Lady
The following is a true story, and a faith story in its own way . . .
Pulling off the freeway we curved around the exit down to the main drag of this little town. Night was setting in and I was lost and decided I better ask someone for directions. As I continued down the road with my little son and daughter it became clear we were heading into a poor and bad section of town. I saw a grocery store with it’s OPEN sign flashing so we pulled in to the parking lot.
As we got to the entrance I noticed a trash barrel sitting to the far side of the entrance and it was moving! Curious, we walked over and discovered a short heavyset old lady bent over and upside down in the trash barrel with her feet kicking about a foot off the ground. She looked stuck and was mumbling something down there in the bottom. Grabbing the back of her coat I pulled her out and back onto her feet. Looking at me she said, “Thank you! I was just trying to get to the last can in the bottom.” She smiled and headed over to the other trash barrel on the opposite side of the store entrance.
We went in the store and I found the manager who found a map and gave me directions. On our way out I saw the little old lady digging in the other trash barrel for more aluminum cans. Just beyond her was an old battered station wagon stuffed with clear garbage bags full of cans. We went to her and pointing at her car I said, wow, you look like you’ve been busy! She said, “I attend a small church and they don’t have much money and neither do I. So, I go around and collect cans, sell them and use the money to buy drawing supplies for the kid’s Sunday School classes.” With that and a big smile she stuck her head back into the trash barrel looking for more cans.
My kids and I headed back to the car. As the kids were climbing in, I looked back to see the old lady digging for her cans in the shadows. I was thinking how this little old lady didn’t care what people thought of her, she didn’t care that she was dirty and smelly, all she cared about was helping the kids in her Sunday School. Suddenly, as I looked on, it was as if I was seeing her through the eyes of Jesus. And what I saw was a beautiful princess! I was in the presence of royalty! My eyes filled with tears and I felt so honored and blessed to have met this daughter of the King.
And Jesus said, “. . . anyone who welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you—is the greatest.” — NLT
Copyright (c) 2009 by William D. (Nick) Nichols