And I got confused.
So here’s my rant for the day.
I’ve seen a blog floating around, proclaiming that those who shop on Thanksgiving Thursday “are part the problem.”
I agree. Whole-heartedly.
But the idea that we can separate Thursday from Black Friday is absurd to me.
Because in both cases, we’re not merely interrupting the holidays of our friends who now have to work instead of eat more turkey; we’re not merely contributing to and bolstering a wholly consumerist culture. No, in any case – whether shopping on Thursday, Friday, or throughout the month for red hot deals and steals from standard retailers – we’re contributing to the global slave trade. We’re burying our heads in the sand and pretending that Wal-Mart and Target employees are the only ones who warrant consideration in this sordid tale of stuff hoarding, all in celebration of the Sweet Baby Jesus.
Even when we bypass Thursday’s sales “on principle” and shop Black Friday instead, we’re almost certainly purchasing things produced by slaves around the world.
I cannot emphasize this enough: If we’re shopping for deals and steals, demanding cheaper stuff, we’re not shopping with a conscience.
It started as a weight loss obsession; my utterly unhealthy have-to-get-skinny response to my sister dropping major weight after having two babies. I’d always felt inferior and ugly. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had what’s now called “body dysmorphic disorder” – that awesome head condition where what you see in the mirror is totally unreal, but which motivates you to do whatever it takes to see what you really want to see (which will never, ever happen, because the problem isn’t what you’re looking at, but the eyes with which you’re looking).
But, thanks to my hyper-competitive nature, her weight loss rocketed me to new levels of self-loathing. I felt fat. I felt disgusting. And so when I began running, it was from a place of self-hate. I ran to burn calories. I ran to see how many calories I could burn while consuming as few as possible. I’d placed myself on a 600-calorie-per-day diet – and was terrified of maxing my daily calorie budget – while running daily to burn 500 at minimum.
I was full-on anorexic.
“You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.” (Matt. 5:21-22, Msg)
“Quick, God, I need your helping hand! …Everyone talks in lie language; lies slip off their oily lips. …Into the hovels of the poor, Into the dark streets where the homeless groan, God speaks: ‘I’ve had enough; I’m on my way to heal the ache in the heart of the wretched.’ God’s words are pure words, pure silver refined seven times… God, keep us safe from their lies, from the wicked who stalk us with their lies…” (Psalm 12, Msg)
One of my New Years Resolutions for 2013 is to read – and complete – one of those Bible in a Year plans. So here I am, on Day 15, and it seems much of what I read was about words. The power of words. The gravity of the things we say.
“When being is separated from doing, pious thoughts become an adequate substitute for washing dirty feet.” (brennan manning)
If you’ve followed my journey at all these past few weeks or read my earlier blog, “The Tomb, The Womb, The Imposter, and The Beloved,” you know God’s been teaching me some new things, and that He’s leading me on a new adventure.
But it’s not brand new.
A few years ago, before going to Africa, before meeting and then touring with Jennifer Knapp and Derek Webb, before having a baby and moving to Minneapolis and watching things rearrange themselves around me, I embarked on a month-long tour up the West Coast with a fellow indie artist. When we set out for that month, we had a total of three paying shows booked at a few churches, and about ten non-paying gigs booked at prisons, youth detention centers, and homeless shelters.. We were renting a car for the entirety of the tour, and didn’t have enough guaranteed income to cover even that. There were moments of fear and wondering how everything was going to come together, but over all I was actually incredibly excited to see what God was up to.
Because I knew in the depths of my being, to the marrow in my bones, that this tour was precisely what God wanted me to do.