Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The angel with whom I'm wrestling... (Just call me Israel)

ChristmasChristmasChristmas is ALMOST HERE... which means I'm in the mood to go drop a paycheck, buying gifts for EVERYONE (literally everyone) I know/see on a regular basis/comment on their blogs with any half-consistency.  "But, Anne," you say.  "Didn't you just post this really compelling list telling me to spend less money and more time at Christmas?"  Yes.  Yes I did.  BUT, actually, I wasn't telling you (I'll bet you think this song is about you, don't you? Don't you? - just kidding)... I WAS TELLING MYSELF.

I am a gifting addict.  I will literally be only allowing myself PB&J and water for whatever meals aren't provided and still spend hundreds of dollars on other people.

This is not to be applauded.  Don't do it.  I mean, yes, this is great and all, but it's not really nice to myself, AND, after reading this AMAZING post by Jen Hatmaker, I'm not really sure it's nice to the rest of the world either.

See, she has this quiz that she linked in her blog (which I clearly just linked, too) that tells you how many slaves work for you.  Yes, slavery still exists today, don't be fooled by the message Satan wants you to believe.
This screen shot of Not For Sale's interactive SlaveryMap shows the number of reported slavery cases since 1-Jun-2008.

It's hard to believe, I know; we're so well trained to believe that it ended with Abraham Lincoln.  If you're still having trouble with it, check this out.

So I took the quiz.  I gave it as much detail as I could.  I knew it was going to tell me I had slaves working for me.  That's the reality of this world.  I did not know it was going to tell me I had 39 slaves working for me.   

That's 39 people who, every day, I say that are worthless; 39 people over whom I've decided I'm more important. 

I gagged and swallowed back vomit over those 39 people.

This is the angel with whom I'm wrestling.  The voice in the back of my head saying "..I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me."

But it's more than that. 

I'm taking their food.  I'm stealing their drink.  I'm casting them out of their homes. I'm stripping them of their clothes.  I'm blighting them and locking them up. 

I'm sitting in my wealthy world, worrying about what gift I should give the people that I don't know well enough to decide if they will even miss a gift from me.  Stressing over difficulties with a VISA to take my international, tropical vacation, and I can't do it anymore.

I'm sorry if I didn't buy you a Christmas present yet and you really wanted one, but I'm done.  Unless I'm walking through the store and it's absolutely perfect for you, you won't be getting anything on which I spent money.  You may not be able to understand this.  After all, most of my friends are American and celebrate the Americanized Christmas, but that is no longer going to stop me.  I can't do it anymore.

What it comes down to is this
Is that coffee/chocolate/cigar/gold jewelry/cotton blouse that I was going to buy him/her REALLY more important than the LIFE of the person who got it for me?

This is the angel with whom I'm wrestling.

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