I remember those horrible tacky cards from when my boys were little. They were gross, slimy cards that you could trade for other gross, slimy cards that depicted little children in oozing, awful pails filled with garbage of one sort or the other.
Today, I want to tell you a tale about a real-life garbage pail kid.
When Sergei (not his real name) was born his mother threw him in the garbage. A baby...tossed aside like trash...laying amongst the filth and "unwanteds" that people throw away in every day life. His tiny cry was heard by a Good Samaritan, and he was retrieved from that filth pit. He was taken to the hospital where he would await a parent or relative to come and identify him and sign papers concerning him.
It was surmised which family he belonged to by neighbors. Unwed pregnant woman is no longer pregnant and has no baby. When she is confronted with the information, she admits that the baby was hers, and agrees to accept him as hers and fill out papers on him. (now he can have an identification attached to his birth)
Now, before you go postal on his mother, please consider the other side of the coin for a moment.
Unwed, under educated, poor, no support, no father willing to participate, overwhelmed, depressed...living in Ukraine. A country not famous for its care of the very young and the very old.
Should she have thrown away her child like last weeks left over lunch? Literally in a filthy, bug infested, heap of garbage? NO, again I will say NO!
What would you have her do? I'm not sure of all of her circumstances...I don't even know her name! I do have a bit of compassion for a lost soul who has found herself in a place with no apparent options. Having found myself, in the past, in situations that did not seem to have any good solutions I cry for her. I had family...church...social systems and mental health facilities...health care...friends...many, many things that she did not have available to her. But most of all...I had a knowledge of a loving God and Savior. I KNEW where I could turn when all else failed!
But that is not the end of the story. Sergei has a story much like Joseph, in the Bible. He was hated and "thrown away" by his brothers. He lived away from his "real" family, he was imprisoned at no fault of his own...he came to rely on a King (Pharoah), and was reunited with his family. Joseph's trials in life had a purpose, one that prepared him for a better life to come.
Sergei's trials also have a purpose. That little boy, the "garbage pail kid", got a second chance.
Because he was thrown away...he was found.
Because he was found...he was eventually moved to a Baby House.
Because he was moved to a Baby House...he came into contact with some Christians.
Because he came into contact with some Christians...he learned about Jesus.
Because he learned about Jesus...he shared Him with his birth mother.
Yes, that little boy who started out life as a "garbage pail kid" is teaching his birth mother about Jesus every time he sees her. He shares stories told to him by the church people who visit the orphanage where he now lives.
I wish I could tell you that his mother is now a believer, and can take him home, and that they will live happily ever after! But this isn't a fairy tale. It's real life.
His mother has married and now has another child that the couple are raising. They see Sergei on holidays and some weekends.
He is still at the orphanage. He still sees the church people. He is still telling his mother about Jesus.
This sweet little boy started his life out under dire circumstances. Yet, the King of Kings has taken those circumstances and given not only the boy, but his mother, a chance to feast at the table, and live with Him forever.