Monday, June 11, 2007


Encouraged in part by some of Carney's public wrestling with certain issues over at his blog, as well as thinking through Ben's talk Sunday about UBC's involvement with Africa, I've been trying to think globally and outside-my-world more in my daily actions. Kick my ass if I begin throwing around the phrase "social justice," because I feel those words have become buzz for "I care more than you. Especially if you consider voting Republican." But please pray for me where these things are concerned. Out of a fear of being insincere, I've been slow to this party and stalled who knows how much effective action in my world.

If you haven't read The Poisonwood Bible yet, then shame. If you have, you'll recall Adah's experience at the grocery store when she arrived back to the states. She was shocked, and a little confused, simply at the variety she had to choose from with just one item. It actually disoriented her a bit when she realized that something she had to work for weeks to acquire in Africa, she now could choose several varieties of just anything, and she didn't have to wait.

I thought of this today at H-E-B. (In fact, my second trip in as many days to the store.) I was walking along with my cart and I had this Sarah McLaughlin song titled Witness going through my mind.

will we burn in heaven
like we do down here
will the change come while we're waiting
everyone is waiting

As the song floated around I was contemplative and trying to actively think of ways I can reduce the amount of food and other things I use. I clearly don't need as much as I have, and I don't even have a lot. The song is still ringing as I pass the little kiosk with the samples of sushi. Without thinking I lifted the plastic dome that protected the food from germs, took the bottle of soy sauce to squirt on the two samples I was to eat, then popped those two bad boys in my mouth before I even had time to stop.

In the checkout like I had this realization that I ate more food in that five second corner of my day than some kid will have the entire day.

And I was shocked and in awe at the amount of effort this is going to take.


Aunt Katy said...

Oy. Tough post. Because I just got home from eating steak and a peach pie with some beautiful friends and I don't even think we thought to be thankful for the meal for a moment. I mean, we are instrinsically thankful, just happy to all be together sharing a meal. But, to stop and dwell on it. Argh! So tough.

Maybe I'll go on Weight Watchers just to eat less.

I also think the term "social justice" is overused. I love Sojourners, but I entirely blame Jim Wallis for the buzz word's popularity.

Jason said...

Christy has told the story about going to Walmart in America soon after living in a West African Village for two years. She walked into the cereal aisle with her mother and froze, much like Adah.

See you soon!

Carn-Dog said...

"the problem is choice."

the architect, Matrix Reloaded