“If what you see from the eye doesn’t please you, then close your eyes and see from the heart.” – Anonymous

I watch as the tall white plastic container slowly fills throughout
the day.  By evening it’s reached maximum
capacity and I do a high-step, stomping it down with my foot before scraping in
the leftovers from six dinner plates.

The following morning, as I throw in the twins’ diapers from
the night before, the situation is nearing a crisis – the trash can is full,
overflowing, and my husband has already left for work. 

I feel a flash of anger as my fingers delicately search for
the red plastic drawstrings and pull up on the hefty bag.  I tie the strings in a tight double-knot, drag
the bag to the back door, and toss it outside where it sits smoldering in the
sun all day long, blocking the entrance to our house.  I leave it there, stinking, like a quickly scrawled
note of reproach that greets my husband the minute he returns from work.

My husband and I take a tag-team approach to nearly
everything it takes to run a household of six, but last I checked taking out
the trash is still his job.  He mostly
neglects this responsibility, though, except for Sundays, when the weekly trash
collection is imminent. 

I try everything from arguments and accusations to
passive-aggressive humor in my attempts to wrestle him into compliance.  I explain how it hinders my day, how the whole
house gets backed-up when we don’t keep up with the trash.  But I don’t explain how it feels like a
personal affront to me, which is where, I suspect, the anger really comes from.  I also neglect to mention how I’ve allowed
this little failure to come to symbolize a lack in his love for me. 

I can see I’m being irrational, but I
can’t seem to let it go.

Then, one day, as I bend again to lift that heavy, reeking
load, I feel the invitation to view that neglected bag as a symbol of all that my
husband does do for me and for our

The truth is that he neglects the trash, in part, because
he’s busy showing his love in a hundred other ways, both big and small.  Arriving home from work, he looks past the
trash and toddlers, his wide smile seeking me out as he pulls me into his arms
to ask about my day.  He helps with baths
and bedtime and encourages me to take the evening off and head out with friends
when the going gets tough and I need a break.   

The truth is I am loved. 
So for now on, as I bend and stomp and lift and tote, I’ll use it all,
every motion, as a reminder of his love for me. 
Because love is patient and love is kind, but nowhere does it say, “Love
is taking out the trash.”

(photo credit here)

This post is linked with Playdates With God and Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday.

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