Tender mercies at the dumpster

These last couple months I have found myself in situations I never dreamed of, not bad, but unexpected. One evening in particular, I found myself hanging halfway inside a dumpster.

tender mercies dumpster

I was all alone trying to scrummage up some boxes for our move. A certain company threw away boxes each day and I heard they didn’t mind if you took them. So there I was, halfway over the dumpster trying desperately to reach boxes. Yet, they were too low to reach and my midsection was starting to hurt from balancing on the metal. The only reason I hadn’t jumped in the dumpster, was because I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get out.

I was about to give up and was easing myself down from the dumpster when I heard an employee with more boxes come up behind me. I got embarrassed. If my cheeks could flush, I imagine they would have been furiously flushing at this point. I hadn’t been this buddy-buddy with a dumpster for a long time, or ever! Why did someone have to witness me right now? I thought what I was doing was fine, but I was nervous. I felt low, dirty, and a bit ashamed.

The employee walked up with the boxes and I built up a titch of courage. I asked him if he was going to put his boxes in the dumpster. He replied that he was and asked if I wanted them. I expressed that I most certainly did. Then he not only said I could have the boxes, but he picked them up and asked if he could put them in my car.

After spending time hanging over a dumpster, his words and actions were practically magical.

I drove away from that dumpster feeling blessed, really blessed. During this time in my life when things were uncertain and frustrating, this experience has lasted in my mind–a moment when I felt keenly God was aware of little, dirty, almost dumpster diving, me. 

“A loving Savior was sending me a most personal and timely message of comfort and reassurance”- David Bednar

Sometimes it is during our lowest, lows when we feel like we’re hanging over the dumpster of life that God gives us a tender mercy. A mercy meant just for us. A mercy so timely and so full of love, there is no doubt it is from God.

“The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”- Psalms 145:9

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17 thoughts on “Tender mercies at the dumpster

  1. Wow! What an experience you had. Sometimes it’s just the little things–a polite gesture, a kind smile–that make a difference in people’s day. I’m glad this man made yours a bit more bearable,even if it was only for a fleeting moment.

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    • You said it perfectly, Maria. Really it is just the simplest, kind acts that people do that can bless us so much. I imagine this man had no idea that he made such an impact, or even that I would blog about his kindness, but the small acts often make the biggest imprints on our hearts. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Maria 😉

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  2. This brought me a smile… and made my eyes a bit watery. To know God thinks of us even when we are head down in a dumpster. It is too amazing. Very sweet and heartfelt post. Love that you are so open with your gratitude towards God. Oh and I like the title. 🙂

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    • Thank you so much, Kim. I’m so glad this post touched you. Really the man that let the love of God run through him, touched my heart. And yes, I love what you said: “God thinks of us even when we are head down in a dumpster.” It is true, God thinks of us and extends His love and mercy to us, even when we are in the most precarious of circumstances. 🙂

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  3. Thank goodness for kind and understanding people and tender mercies. I’m so glad he didn’t look at you like you were crazy or treat you like a villian! I’d have the same thoughts running through my head in that situation. 🙂 Such a sweet story, Marla! This is a great example of God’s awareness of our situations and his love for each of us personally. “A mercy meant just for us. A mercy so timely and so full of love, there is no doubt it is from God.” You put it beautifully! I love this so much. 🙂

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    • YES, Chelsi! I was so glad he didn’t look at me like I was a crazy!! That alone was a mercy. Some people are just pure blessings. It is amazing that we often have no idea how one of our small acts of kindness will affect another. I imagine this man has no idea that he made such an impact on me… or that I’m blogging about him, for that matter! It reminded me that my small acts often go further than I realize and that I should follow through with any kind thought. 🙂 Thank you for your comment, Chelsi!!

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  4. What a sweet story, Marla. I love this! Thank you for this reminder today that God is always looking out for us, and sometimes He reveals Himself to us through the kind act of another person. His mercies are so sweet.

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    • I’m so glad this post could touch you, Hannah! I agree, this experience did the same for me. I was in awe that I felt God was aware of me in such a grungy situation. Yet He was, and He is always so aware of us. And you are so right, it is often through another person, that we feel God’s love for us. Thank you for your comment, Hannah 🙂

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