Saturday, June 12, 2004

Ministry of Jumble…

Today I go to pick up some jumble. Mrs Smith. As we enter her complex I see a card of thanks posted up. "To everyone thank you for your support at this time of loss --- Mrs Smith from 82". We carry the bags from flat 82. As we leave I gently place my hand on her arm, "this can’t be easy for you Mrs Smith..." "He was a great man" she whispers.

I never thought the day would come when I would reflect on jumble – I don’t know what you call it where you are from but you know the stuff that people donate to charity shops, thrift stores. Used clothes etc… Whatever you call it I never thought I would reflect on it.

Once or twice a week I pop out in the van to pick up bag bin bags full of jumble for our charity shop. Is this the stuff of ministry? Of course I’m able to put a spin on it – 'solidarity with the charity shop workers'; 'never ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself'; servant leadership and all that nauseous retching talk.

But recently I’ve discovered the ministry of jumble...

Yesterday Richard our Community Development Worker – popped out for 10 minutes to pick up some jumble. Two hours later we meet in the car park as he hoists the black bags out of the car. "It’s not just about the clothes is it..." he starts to tell the story of the two hour pick up from an elderly couple – desperately lonely, abandoned by society, wanting community. Richard has just discovered the ministry of jumble.

"...Mrs Smith don’t be lonely give us a call" She looks up for the first time, try’s to smile – "can I?"

Jumble opens doors...!

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