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Viewpoint from Rev Elizabeth Stoner 23/09/2022

ELIZABETH STONER 09-2022Rev Elizabeth Stoner
Light of Life Baptist Church, Ormesby St Margaret


Reflections on a Litter Pick
I can’t say that I particularly enjoy litter picks. I like things neat and tidy so consciously going to a place that needs cleaning is not really my idea of fun (though I do enjoy the aftereffects)
dove leftAs I was collecting litter it struck me what was being discarded along the roadside; a plastic bottle, chocolate wrappers, cigarette butts, and packets and rather a lot of cans and bottles that had contained alcohol. I started to wonder, why was it this selection of rubbish that was dropped? Could it be that whoever bought these items wanted to consume then conceal that they had been a part of their life? The contents were purchased because the person wanted them but then maybe they didn’t want to admit wanting them to their friends and family when they got home.
What do I try to conceal that I know is not a healthy part of my life – and I don’t simply mean chocolate…
Sometimes I wonder what passers-by think when I’m collecting litter. Do they think I’m a mug, wasting my time? In a couple of weeks, I’ll need to retrace my steps as there will be a whole new host of litter needing proper disposal. I remind myself that this is Kingdom work. God is in the business of renewal, He is restoring and transforming His creation, so I am joining in with Him at the most basic of levels when I do this. I’m showing that this world that He has created is precious, it matters. It matters both to God, and it matters to me
We may think that we can discard bad attitudes and habits, burying them deep in the back of our minds trying to pretend that they don’t exist, but others see the evidence, they see glimpses. Just like we see the physical litter on the roadside, some of it is obvious and some partly buried. We can’t really get rid of it ourselves; it festers and spoils our own and others’ lives. God however can wipe the slate clean; His mercies are new every morning. He clears away much deeper rubbish, He loves to transform lives from the inside.  His love obliterates bad attitudes and habits that we try to bury so we can start again afresh

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