A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

Dumpster Roses

November 3rd, 2011

It’s not what I expect to find when I take out the trash.

Laying on the ground at the foot of the dumpster is a clear glass vase filled with a dozen red roses. Complete with all the greenery and Baby’s Breath, there is a red and black teddy bear lashed to the vase with sheer red ribbon. Tethered to the bear, a shiny helium filled Mylar “Happy Birthday” balloon, dancing in the breeze.

The roses are fresh. New. All that’s missing is the water. In the August heat, sans water they won’t be fresh for long.

People rescue dogs. And birds that get blown from the nest. What do you do when you find fresh roses next to a dumpster, dying of thirst?

I guess it’s their lucky day. I love roses. I used to work for a company that imported long stem roses from Ecuador. If I leave these beauties out here in the dirt, I won’t sleep tonight. So I take them in, re-cut the stems and fill the vase with water. They sit awkwardly on my table, rescued to be sure. Yet in a place they never expected to be.

Oh, that the roses would talk to me. Were they too little too late? Were they not enough? Were they an “I’m sorry I forgot your birthday and that’s why there’s a teddy bear on here, too?” Were they gladly received only to be tossed after a birthday party turned ugly? Or were they given to someone to whom nothing is ever good enough, a gift doomed to futility from the start?

Why on the ground? If one is angry enough to throw away a brand new vase of red roses why not give full vent and smash them in the dumpster? Why lay them on their side for a slow death? If you’re going to throw something away, why not all the way?

However it is, the roses and the teddy bear aren’t where they thought they’d be.

At some point in life, we all find ourselves in a place we never thought we’d be. Maybe we weren’t enough for someone. Maybe an illness steals our ability to physically enjoy our favorite activities. Or a pink slip downsizes us out of a career. Or maybe we derailed ourselves by our own bad choices.

However we ended up by the dumpster, we’re here.

People rescue dogs. And birds that get blown from the nest. And guys like me rescue roses on the ground.

God rescues people.

God rescues people. And it doesn’t matter where He finds us. By the dumpster. Or in the dumpster. Whether someone tossed us aside or we threw ourselves there, God rescues us.

The irony of being rescued from a place we never thought we’d be is that God will take us to places we never thought we’d go.

How wonderful is that?

Thank you, God, for rescuing us.

It’s our lucky day.

“And God showed His great love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8


Todd A. Thompson – ASliceOfLifeToGo.com