Apparently if you ask female children nowadays what they want to be when they grow up, they mostly want to be "famous", though they aren't clear for what. In my day the commonest answer would probably have been "a nurse". However, oddball that I am, the first thing I remember declaring that I would like to be was "a bin lady". Not a bin WOMAN. A bin LADY. I have class.
I was reminded of this today when I came across this quote from Adrian Plass: “My function as a writer and a speaker really is as a rubbish clearer. I try to sweep away a little bit of the rubbish that's accumulated ... so that people might look a little further down the road and see what new thing God might have waiting for them.” I think that's part of the job of a prison chaplain too, as I listen to prisoners. Lots of listening, interspersed with challenges to their thinking, in an attempt to be a rubbish clearer. So in a way I got to be a bin lady after all!
I spent a long time this afternoon with a prisoner whose life has been like the council tip, quite honestly. He is now well-motivated to change, and yet he's a creature of habit with eight or nine sentences under his belt (he's only in his early twenties). He has professed faith as a Christian, at a previous jail, and I'm trying to nurture that in him. If you're the praying kind, please pray for him, that all the rubbish will be swept out of his life.