Justin: In the Feast of Being Able to. Amen.

Junk in my Trunk

I drive a truck.

It’s a Ford, ok? And for that I am truly sorry, but what’s done is done. We are all young and naive at some time, and I bought a Ford… one of my greater mistakes (and life lessons), it will never happen again. We good? Awesome.

So, I drive a truck. And because it’s a Ford, I don’t care much about it. It has let me down so much and proved to be the best example of the worst engineering, so I just quit caring about it, cosmetically. A nice looking Ford is nothing but a painted pig. And that’s Biblical.

I drive a truck. It has a truck bed. A few weeks ago, I spent the week in Kansas City. Several of us at work carpooled in company cars, so I left my truck parked at work, right next to the building, outside a window.

When I returned to Fort Smith, I found someone had placed shrub trimmings in my truck bed. I thought to myself, did dad put those in my truck last week and I just didn’t notice? I asked him first. No, he did not. Sure enough, some person had just decided that my empty truck bed was a good place for their debris.

I can’t say it made me furious, but it angered me. Anonymous crimes are the worst, and people who commit such crimes deserve harsher punishment, right? I sort of.. seethed about it. Yes, for fleeting moments, I even hated. What fun I could have taking revenge if I could just catch the person who THOUGHT they got away with it.

But I did not remove the limbs.

Riding around in the back of my truck these 3-4 weeks, those limbs have been a lesson to me. I knew there was to be no miraculous discovery of the perpetrator. I knew there would be no satisfaction to ease the anger against an anonymous criminal. But I did know that I had some growing to do.

Now, knowing something intellectually and accepting it emotionally are mutally exclusive. I know in my head what I am called to do. “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” — Jesus, Matthew 6:14

For 3 weeks I have seen those limbs every morning and evening… watched them blow and bounce over my shoulder and shed their tiny leaves here and there as I drive about each day. But I found a genuine peace about it. Yes, the person was a jerk to do it. But such a person probably has many pitiable things in their life. They probably aren’t murderers, and even if they are, I am called to forgive them. Be thankful, Justin, it’s only limbs. Then Monday came.

As usual, there were my tree limbs. My acceptance hadn’t magically gathered them up, found a proper disposal site and swept the truck bed of dead leaves. I drove to work, thinking I might could get them into the small dumpster at work without taking up too much space.

At 11:30 I hurried out of the building to head off to lunch with a dear friend. This buddy and I love the chips and dip at El Chicos, and when seldom we meet for lunch, we most often go there. When I parked in the mall parking lot, I could see that his truck wasn’t there yet. I stepped out of my truck and turned to lean against the truck bed. When I saw it, I could only laugh.

The limbs had bloomed.

Small, bright purple flowers had bloomed throughout the entire pile of dead limbs in my truckbed. I picked one, and yes, it even smelled sweet like a flower. I realize that I’m a romantic, but considering my personal journey over the sorry things, it seemed particularly poiniant.

Now, the parable of the flowering Ford could end here. But it doesn’t. After returning to the office, I picked enough flowers for every lady in the office, gave them all one, and told them I would recount the story behind the flower later if they wanted to know.

Yesterday, after work, I discovered a broken broom handle added to the debris. I laughed. Could this become a ministry?

And by today, the flowers are withering, and I asked Mike for the key to the dumpster. My journey complete, my story at an end.

And Mike laughs and says, “Dude, I put the broomstick there, too, haha.”

“Too?” I asked. “You put the limbs there?”

Laughing: “Yea, I kept thinking I’d help you get them out, I just kept forgetting.”

  • OH man! That is too funny! Now that you have come to terms and forgiven him, lets rope him up and beat him with the broken broomstick.

  • LOL. You’re on. We have a broken wheelbarrow handle here I found in the street months ago and with a magic marker, wrote “AGENT BEATER” on. Mike keeps it in his office. We will put it to good use.

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