I nearly missed it – the notice that came in our mailbox for inorganic pickup. It’s the favourite time of the year for two types of Aucklanders: the rich and the poor. The rich love this day for getting rid of all their junk, and the poor love it for the bargains they pick up (I use these terms “rich” and “poor” from a relative point of view, as you will find out in this story). Quick,” I said to Francelle, “You’ve got to help me get some stuff out on the street.” I’d been hoarding it for months and didn’t want to miss the opportunity.
We joked as we carried the first item up the driveway – a broken dishwasher. “How long do you think this will last?” I asked her. She hardly had time to answer, we heard a truck rumbling down the road and before we made it back inside it was gone. Then out went the old CRT 29″ TV. There was nothing wrong with it. It’s just nobody wants them anymore – not even the “poor.” Within 10 minutes it was broken in 3 pieces and parts looted from it. Then came the old ironing board, some kids games and a ripped wetsuit. They disappeared just as quickly.
Such is life in middle-class Auckland suburbs. I wondered what might be going out on the curbs in Ponsonby and Parnell. Maybe spa pools and billiard tables. I should have hitched up my trailer and gone for a gander. I might have found myself a bargain. Then I wondered what they might think as they looked out the window and saw my old white 1996 Honda Station Wagon coming down the road, towing a trailer. “It’s those folk from Howick again, looking for a freebe” (You’d have to live here to get that one).
We live in a strange world, don’t we. A world of relativism. On man’s trash is another man’s treasure. But what is “trash” and what is “treasure” is all a matter of perspective. And mine isn’t any better than the next man’s.
Here is another reason I look forward to the Kingdom to come. With Jesus reigning, there will be no inequality. Everybody gets the best and is treated the best, from the labourer who lives in Otara to the Porsche owner who lives in Parnell. There will be no looking down each other’s noses or talk of, “Oh no, it’s those people again.” We’ll all be rich and will be laughing our way into eternity, arm in arm.
Yes, life among the children of God is going to be really grand. And as far as I’m concerned, that day couldn’t come fast enough.