Not my image
Near Christmastime I joined my friend Steve at his Barnabas fellowship potluck dinner. It was held at Richmond Hill Christian Community Church on Bayview between 16th and Major Mackenzie. It was nice to see some old friends again and meet some new ones as well.
After we ate Pastor Fred (the fellowship pastor) gave a short talk. He shared one story about this fellow who was quite depressed. This man spoke to his pastor about it. The advice he received was to think of people in the past who made a significant difference in your life and write them letters.
Out of the four letters he wrote, one person, his fourth grade teacher, responded. She was very touched by what he said. Out of the thousands of children that passed through her classroom over the years, she said his was the only letter of thanks she ever received. She was deeply appreciative of it. This pleased the man and he decided to write to other people he knew. Soon he felt much better about his situation in life.
But, this is not my main purpose for writing this blog. It's to pass on this link of a short film from Youtube that pastor Fred shared. It's about overconsumption and waste. Something quite common in western culture, but also something we rarely think about.
It was a powerful film. He was quite brave for showing it. Especially at a Christmastime gathering – a time of general happiness, and right after we ate a big meal. I believe it sent a sobering message to everyone.
Too often, I think, we're holed up in our tiny, sanitized cocoons. We choose to ignore the plight of the downtrodden amongst us so we don't offend our delicate sensitivities. We don't want to be associated with dirty, poor people. Sometimes I believe that how some churches feel. It's almost like a well-to-do person's social club.
We send our members to far off lands to do missionary work. They tell us they want prayer so they can be strong because they're "leaving their comfort zones". Well, my friend, you're going there for two weeks then you get to come back home. Think about the people living there. They don't get to leave to fly home to a four-bedroom home with three big screen TVs and manicured yard. To them, that's reality. That's life. Deal with it.
So, bravo, to pastor Fred. Good for you for showing the film at the risk of offending or upsetting some people.
And to you, my friends, take a few minutes to watch it. It's probably nothing new that you don't already know. But, it's a good reminder for us to waste less and not complain about the troubles we have. You do it and I do it. We all do it. But, really... millions upon millions of people would be happy to trade places with us in a heartbeat.