“We have the nicest garbage man, He empties out our garbage can; He’s just as nice as he can be, He always stops and talks with me.” It concludes, “My mother doesn’t like his smell, but then, she doesn’t know him well.”
Micah Speir, a garbage collector, was in the news recently. While working his regular route in Seattle’s Capital Hill District he spotted a bag on the grounds of Lawton Elementary School.
It wouldn’t be unreasonable to suppose that the bag and contents had missed a targeted trash can. But, in this case, a total of $12,000 had missed being deposited in the bank.
Rejecting the “finders keepers, losers weepers” mentality, Micah resolved to do the right thing. He reported the trove to Dorian Manza, principal. After some inquiry it was discovered that a PTA member had accidentally dropped the sum following an association fundraiser in support of an art program.
The garbage collector refused any monetary reward, or even special recognition. Commenting on his job, he said something about there never being a dull day. In the opinion of Principal Manza the entire experience was a testimony to the man’s character.
Someone has dedicated a poem to an unnamed garbage collector: “We have the nicest garbage man, He empties out our garbage can; He’s just as nice as he can be, He always stops and talks with me.” It concludes, “My mother doesn’t like his smell, but then, she doesn’t know him well.”
The Disciple Andrew
There’s a whole crowd of people that we don’t know very well. On occasion we discover the Speirs of the world. They’re recognized as “average Joe’s” making — minus any fanfare — some positive difference in community life. The disciple Andrew is an excellent biblical example.
He factors into the miraculous feeding of the five thousand. It was Andrew that took notice (John 6:8-9) of a boy with five barley loaves and two fishes – “but what are these among so many?” Apparently, more than enough, when consideration is given to people and things usually minimized.
Basilicas’ are often named for St. Peter but typically it’s the little chapel that’s identified as St. Andrew’s. Even in the gospel narrative, Andrew is explained to be “Simon Peter’s brother.” It’s never said the other way around.
Nevertheless, it’s documented that Andrew was the one that “first found his own brother” and “brought him to Christ” (John 1:41-42). But, his lot was to have a much lower level of recognition, serving as an intermediary between others and Jesus. On one occasion (John 12:20-22), he was sought out to introduced a delegation from the Greek world to Christ.