I was driving down Baseline on Sunday, in Sherwood Park, Alberta, passing a thick flock of stores, duplo block structures, big box stores with their Black Weekend sales. And I was crying, thinking about the Wal-Mart worker.
The one who got trampled in Long Island, NY, when the doors opened on Black Friday, because men and women were so desperate for reduced items they were willing to reduce a life.
“The Black Friday stampede plunged the Valley Stream outlet into chaos, knocking several employees to the ground and sending others scurrying atop vending machines to avoid the horde.
“When the madness ended, 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour was dead and four shoppers, including a woman eight months pregnant, were injured.”
And no doubt there were Christians in that mob driving hard to get into that store not seeing that young man waiting to greet customers, who was greeted, instead, by death.
“They pushed him down and walked all over him,” Damour’s sobbing sister, Danielle, 41, said. “How could these people do that?
“He was such a young man with a good heart, full of life. He didn’t deserve that.”
When it comes to a good sale, we equate frugality with morality and we’ll do anything to save a buck–but will we kill?
I drove past those cold stores with their bold sale signs and I’m no better. I go hard after a good bargain. I bought a laptop this Black Friday, online, because we’ve got no stores in our hamlet except for a Co-op. Now, I didn’t stab anyone to get the laptop. I just punched a few keys and it was done, but I was still part of the madness. I still fed the system.
Whether it’s online or in the flesh, we’re pawns of a corporate giant, and we worship the almighty dollar.
At the end of the day, will it matter if we saved forty percent on TV speakers or a new iPad?
Someone’s 34-year-old son is dead.
As Christians, let’s be different. Let’s stop and shake the greeter’s hand. Let’s stop and see the people we’re shopping beside. Maybe the person we’re competing with for an item needs it more than us. Maybe we don’t need anything at all, because 1.25 billion people live off two dollars a day or less. And maybe instead of feeding a heartless system that isn’t satisfied until Wal-mart employees are trampled, maybe we can focus on feeding orphans in the Philippines who recently lost everything.
Now, maybe you did need whatever you purchased. I know I did, for my job, because my old laptop has been dying for months. Maybe your washing machine just gave out and your husband just lost his job and you were desperately clinging to the hope of that Black Friday sale and you just didn’t care anymore, what it took to get it, because life has thrown you some pretty hard punches lately.
Don’t give in.
You can make the purchase, yes, but shop with humanity in mind (tweet this). Keep perspective. Yes, you need a washing machine, but at what expense?
Our heavenly father knows what we need. Sometimes he provides through the form of a great sale. But never at the cost of someone’s life. Never, at the cost of one of his children.
The dark truth about Black Friday is this: Someone died, so we could purchase something from a store which sells items made by children from third-world countries. Which offers terrible health benefits to its employees. And which is buying out mom and pop franchises across the country without a second glance.
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