Near to where I live there is a junction of a cycle path and two footpaths. The local council has thoughtfully placed a bin there. It’s a standard, rectangular-sided litter bin, about a metre or so high and sides half a metre. It’s had a hard life though, being bruised and battered and covered in graffiti. For some reason some passers by seem to want to take out their frustrations in life by abusing it. Occasionally, the bin is found on its side, no mean feat because it is attached to a slab of concrete. This has happened three times this week, but it’s been picked up and set back in its designed orientation, readying it to continue its thankless job of receiving the effluent from our throw away culture.
In the main, most members of the society in which we live conform to its social expectations without question. But there are some who don’t, and the imbibing of alcoholic beverages or other mind altering substances sometimes invokes a behavioural response that reflects the inner turmoil that must be going on within them. As someone drily said to me this week, “When the drink is in, the wits are out”.
However, this piece of litter bin mayhem reflects a degree of anti-socialism that exposes a disconnect between God’s design for mankind and how some behave. Sin plays a large part, but there is also pressure from a society that is stressed by secular, humanist and anti-God influences. In addition, the way our culture is largely based on material values and an economy dependent on mankind purchasing lots of “stuff”, just exacerbates the strains.
Jesus came for the drop-outs in society. Those who were caught up in circumstances beyond their control, such as illness, destitution, divorce, death, prostitution and so on. And in a society that had no safety net for the less fortunate. His message of hope resonated with so many in His time, and as we continue His work on earth, we must find opportunities to share the Gospel with those we meet. There has been a suicide of a young man in the next village in the past week or so. Another life lost, sacrificed on the altar of despair and hopelessness. The time is short and the harvest bountiful. Let’s pray for opportunities to share God’s love and grace with those needing to hear it.