Keep Blantyre City Clean and Green: memoires of a recycle bin


Do you remember the days when some of the “pedestrian” paths where smothered with local goods? You know, the occasional cabbage leaves and onion remnants? And who can forget all of Hollywoods greatest movie hits faithfully pirated (I mean packed) into one CD? The street vendors would speedily scurry along parading their illustrious merchandize and goods as pedestrians and car owners cruised along (well maybe just the cars). It was not until two or three years ago when the warm heart turned a cold shoulder to this organized chaos and pledged its allegiance to “Keep Blantyre City Clean and Green.” Part of the initiative saw the relocation of some of these street markets – that helped to keep Blantyre be anything but clean- to more secluded areas. The city bins where soon erected across the urban terrain as mounds of trash and unwanted filth monopolized their spacious quarters. I will be honest; it was (and still is) quite the sight watching the traffic police play cat and mouse with those that choose to peddle with the law.


A few weeks ago, I found myself mounding stuff into a different sort of recycle bin. You see, I suffer from a thing called boredom from time to time. To ease my dullness I gathered a couple of comical soothers. I laughed. I toppled over (well, not really). I needed a breather. I needed to feel entertained. Amid the humor, I could not help but notice how “unedifying” (and occasionally explicit) some of the comical content was. I therefore did what seemed appropriate at the time. I pressed play and continued musing my five senses as the elephant in the room stared me down at the corner of my eye. It did not take long (give or take a few weeks) when I found myself “relocating” my thirty minutes of ineffable humour into the computer trash can: the recycle bin (I was tired of playing pretend with my conscious). It did not take long (give or take a few days) when I soon found myself rummaging through my recycle bin scavenging for my once sought out trash treasure. Press play.


“though the hand has let go the heart still wants…”


The most difficult thing about letting go may perhaps not be in the clicking of a button; it may not be in the breaking up of ties with those him’s and her’s; it may not even be in the establishment of “boundaries” to keep the tempters at bay. No. Perhaps the most difficult realization is that though the hand has let go the heart still wants. I cannot recall the amounts of times I have “let go” of only to realize that my deceivingly empty hands are secretly hiding trashed “goods” within the closet of my heart. The problem was never the thing or the person. The problem was always me; my heart; our hearts. Jesus often drew the attention of His followers (and fans) away from the external coverings of religion. Instead He brought their gaze towards the abstract wanting and misplaced desires of their heart. It was easy for them (and easy for us) to “let go” of the things that are seemingly deterring our paths from a fuller and more meaningful relationship with God. Yet, their hearts were found lacking. The unreachable parts of their being could only be touched by One who saw it all and understood it all; by One who knew the hearts of all mankind; by One who has the power to transform our heart of hearts to something that will desire only Him: Jesus Christ. It was only when the reality of their wanting hearts was given to Him that surrender truly took place. For when the work of God has stemmed from within, only then can we truly let go and begin (or rather continue) the journey He has embarked us on.


What is your heart holding onto?


“You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar…search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me; and lead me in the way everlasting.” – King David (Psalm 139:2,22-3)

At His Feet…



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