I am a person prone to strange dreams.
Yesterday, minutes before the alarm went off, in my dream, I was handed a bag. In my dream-state, I looked in to the bag and inside there was a rotten banana, an opened stale bag of chips, and a molded loaf of bread. As I looked into this bag, one word came in to my mind: perishable. The message handed to me in this bag was that I am perishable.
The message of my dream is the daily reality for many people. Too often, people are treated as nothing more than perishable commodities. The divine worth of a person is lost when they are seen as nothing more than a consumer or an employee.
Even worse, many are looked at as trash. Children are raised in abusive homes where they are seen as trash. The bullying of school makes some feel that they are trash. Exclusion of any kinds sends a message of unworthiness. Throughout our lives, we all hear the message that we are not enough–not wealthy enough, not attractive enough, not intelligent enough, not stable enough, not enough.
In contrast, when God created men and women he called them good. Psalm 139 proclaims that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
The secret of servant-hood is that it causes us to see others differently. Instead of looking at people to see what we can gain, we look asking what we can give. In that moment, we transition from seeing the other as perishable to seeing them as holy. As people work, volunteer, and participate at Church For All People, they shed the perishable and put on imperishability.
As people volunteer and serve and work and participate at Church for All People, this transition happens within themselves. People who have been treated as perishable find meaning, people who have been told they are trash find a home. The perishable puts on imperishability.