15 October 2008

on thanksgiving and poverty

this past monday was Thanksgiving Day in Canada. and with everything that's been happening in the world with finances/money and the economy, thanksgiving this year can be a bit bittersweet. it is not that people are not thankful or have nothing to be thankful for. but it is a thanksgiving that for many people is mixed with the word, "despite." i think of my family - i am thankful we all have enough to live on - but it is despite the sadness over my mom having lost her job recently and the difficulty involved in finding something new where she can find joy and satisfaction in what she does - and this is following in the shadow of my brother-in-law who also had a difficult year with losing a job and finding something to give joy and satisfaction. and we are not the only families suffering with job loss, and even more are wondering about the economy and uncertain about the future - and whether there will be enough to live on.

and yet, the economic crisis in the world still feels a bit surreal to me. perhaps it is because my life has continued as it always has or perhaps it is because i have no property or possessions and very little money that can be lost. and poverty isn't something i can really fathom. for most of my life, i've been living under the Canadian standard of "the poverty line." although it's been frustrating and challenging at times, there was always food and shelter and companionship and joy and a sense of purpose - and i so i never felt really poor. and i'm not sure if i can be really poor. i have the riches of passports to 2 different [first world] countries and decades of education. and i am part of strong communities who i expect to share my struggles with - and help out others as much as i can.

and as being part of the world church, i am called to share my riches with others [one way i can do that is that my church's world relief organization, CRWRC]. and with people being uncertain about finances, it is even more of a time for those of us who choose not to put our trust in finances and economy but in God to give money away, even foolishly, instead of cautiously saving it up against an uncertain future. and perhaps it is time again to think about the foolishness of some of our thinking about money. the words of Bono recently touch on that: "It's extraordinary to me that the United States can find $700 billion to save Wall Street and the entire G8 can't find $25 billion dollars to saved 25,000 children who die every day from preventable diseases." taken from the American Prospects Blog.

This blog entry was written as a way of participating in

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