Nothing in Trash

I’m emerging from a tough weekend y’all. The death of Chadwick Boseman hit me tremendously hard. I didn’t know him, nor am I a graduate of an HBCU (although I attended one for one year, and worked at another for four); but my complete awe was in relation to his sheer, unassuming talent. I spend an inordinate amount of time watching television and movies and so his acting was a craft I was completely impressed with. Learning of his death early Saturday morning rocked me in an indescribable way. I began praying for his loved ones and those connected to projects he was either doing or scheduled to do – and for us, the inhabitants of Wakanda who so desperately escape to our refuge community of Black brilliance and excellence where our lives are not endangered at the hands of others who share not our melanin on a daily basis. Many of us were completely unaware of the fact that our king had been battling for his life over the last four years. He moved quietly, unbeknownst to us, doing whatever he could to remove the baggage, the commentary and the judgement of others to deter him from his assignment. What a beautiful narrative to leave for us to consume in a likened manner similar to hot buttered popcorn at the cinema.

One thing is clear to me. In order to have made 10 films while fighting a deadly diagnosis, Mr. Boseman had to make a decisive decision to elect to rid himself and his environment of negativity. As I was trolling through email, realizing the volume, I moved items to trash, and hit delete. After the action, the photo that accompanies this blog appeared. The words read, “Nothing in Trash.” It occurred to me that this is how we must operate daily. As God affords and extends new mercy and new grace with each day, so must we too let go of that which can cause us not to function at our highest level. Trash is the compilation of waste; waste cannot enable us to walk out our best – in fact it weighs us down and keeps us from moving in our optimal capacity. Trash left unattended stinks. The stench is not only too powerful for the holder, but it fails to attract others to us as well. If you believe as I, that individuals are assigned to us – to learn from us, to hear our testimonies, to learn what not to do and to be encouraged at whatever juncture they find themselves in life, then understanding the necessity for removing that which does not align with Jeremiah 29:11 in our lives is critical, not only for our survival, but for others as well. This doesn’t mean that we will not be subjected to difficulty. In fact the verse before 11 speaks of captivity for 70 years; but the verse after 11 also speaks of the Lord answering when we call. When we are filled with trash, we are unable to receive – and perhaps more importantly, unable to give.

Each of us have our own trash bag to bear. And we can purchase heavy duty bags for a heavy duty load; or ones with a tie to make the load more manageable; or even one with Febreeze infused, to lesson the stench – or we can cast all our cares upon the Lord, because He cares (I Peter 5:7) and operate in a “Nothing in Trash” mentality, unencumbered by the finickiness of the world – the folx that will run us in the ground when we are alive and dig up the dirt so speak with their words, social media posts and single face tears to resuscitate us when we are gone. Our best defense against availing ourselves as victims to these villains is to rid ourselves of that which attempts to come for our Vibranium – our ability to level up and energize our efforts and solace in the Most High God who orchestrates our lives and serves as a force field for anything that attempt to penetrate our joy.

Finding joy these days must be intentional. To be sure, life’s circumstances are filled with trauma – but as we discard that which is not for our good – we too can film 10 movies, visit sick children battling the same diagnosis as us, inspire others and recognize it “being our time” in every moment and breath the Creator extends. Let it go. Empty the trash and live. Unapologetically. Unbothered. Like a superhero. Like Chadwick. Rest in Power!


  • Clovice

    This is awesome as usual!!!💜

    • Stephanie

      God be praised!!!! Thank you so much for reading!

  • Keila

    We must learn to Live…..

    • Stephanie

      We truly must and work to not to take life and people for granted.

  • Tanika


    • Stephanie

      Thank you for reading!

  • Brenda

    Dr. Helms-Pickett,
    I continue to be amazed by the power of your God-infused words. You always say “a mouthful” and force us to stop and reflect. Chadwick Boseman definitely set an example for us to follow. And how we deal with our trash will directly impact our personal outcomes. Amen!

    • Stephanie

      Dr. Kennedy, God be praised! Thank you so much for reading and for your feedback. God help us to clean out the garbage!

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