Well, I have been thinking about some things lately and I also have been pretty busy and so have been pretty MIA from the site, I apologize, and here ya go.

I have been reading a couple of Shane Claiborne’s books lately and my world is being rocked.  I feel like I’m being encouraged  to go deeper and further in my Christianity and also feel like he pretty clearly articulates some things I have been thinking and wrestling with for a while.  He talks alot about our wealth as Americans and the hindrance that is to entering The Kingdom of God, and I am being rocked.  He mentions the passage in James Chapeter 5 where James warns

1Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. 2Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.

Shane uses this passage to springboard to different issues where this applies to us, rich western consumers.  He talks about how Christians should be against buying and wearing clothes made in sweatshops, especially where children are involved (and specifically mentions Nike and other brands ).  I was cut to the core to realize my vanity desires these companies’ products even though they sin against God by desecrating people.  God created people as sacred, reflections of Godself and holy; literally images of The Creator.  I thought of how my purchasing cheap products feeds the greedy cycle that sucks these impoverished in.

He also mentions the tomato pickers who are unfairly paid for their work.  This is specifically and literally what James is talking about! I think about my time at UCLA when Taco Bell was kicked off campus because they are part of the people who pay these tomato pickers so poorly.  I remember the big debates it caused and how we as rich, spoiled students were upset to lose our Taco Bell.  I think of how ridiculous our response was and I pray that my sins in these ares may be forgiven.

Anyway, I am scared.  I don’t know that I am weeping and wailing but I am scared to my core.  No matter how good we think we are, when we contribute to these companies that are everywhere, we are going against God’s design and plan.  We sin for a 99 cent taco, or an 8 dollar t-shirt.  We desecrate humans so that we may be in style or have cheap, tasty food.  The wages we fail to pay these workers are crying out against us and I am terrified.  I pray that God would have mercy on me for my greed and I pray that God would give me wisdom to change, and strength to fight against the global, consumer empire that I live in.