As a host at a church camp, I have the pleasure/responsibility of doing what I can to make each guest’s visit comfortable. Much of this work is really enjoyable. (I love chatting with someone over a cup of coffee.) But I’ve learned to value the less enjoyable parts, as well. (Like when I’m called to get a toilet working.) Yesterday, I had a somewhat unpleasant experience that ended with a blessing.

Most of our weekend guests had left, but when I stopped at one building, there was a family that was going through their trash… coffee grounds, dirty diapers, and who knows what else. It didn’t look pleasant…

Uh-oh. You must have lost something.

My medication.

May I help search? Maybe get a tarp to spread things out?”

I don’t know. I might just quit. It won’t be the end of the world if I don’t find it. It won’t kill me.

Let me know if you change your mind.

Three minutes later…

Maybe you could get that tarp?

So I brought two tarps, and together we started going through garbage. First bag – nothing. Second bag – nothing. And at the very bottom of the third bag, we found the two bottles of medication. Joy!


The four-year-old son had been watching all of this, and as I cleaned the trash up afterward, the mother came over and whispered. “He wanted to give you a quarter, so you’ll find something on the seat of your golf cart.”

A little later after they left, I found two dimes and a nickel waiting for me. Blessings don’t get much bigger than that.

Yes – my job may be unpleasant sometimes. But on days like yesterday, I’m reminded of Jesus’ instructions to his disciples in John 13:

He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

John 13.12-15 (NRSV)