Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What difference does it make?

What difference does it make to thirsty and unbathed men, women, and children if our well-watered lawns are thick and green during a severe drought?

What difference does it make if socks cost $2 for a package of six pairs at one store and $8 for the same package in another, when we don't need new socks anyway?

What difference does it make to our children if we tell them not to drink and drive, but we drink beer, wine, and mixed drinks, and then drive ourselves home from restaurants and dinner parties all the time - sometimes with our children in the car with us?

What difference does it make to our daughters to tell them not to worry about their body size and weight when we spend hours obsessing about our own bodies and our weight in their presence?

What difference does it make to our sons (and their future life partners) when we criticize and belittle them for crying, telling them to "take it (whatever it is) like a man"?

What difference does it make to our children when we give our daughters "purity rings" and urge to "save themselves for marriage" but elbow our sons and snicker when Victoria's Secret commercials come on the television - and when we see scantily clad cheerleaders at sporting events, we evaluate which are prettiest "girls" - and when we disparage certain sporting events simply because they are being played by women athletes?

What difference does it make to our own psyches, to our children, to our loved ones, and to complete strangers, when we say that we aren't racist, but we lock our car doors, listen to, laugh at, and later recount "off-color" jokes, grab our purses off the floor, out of the shopping cart, or off the seat next to us when we see "those" people?

(I cannot tell you how many times I have wanted to grab women by the throat at the supermarket and scream into their terrified faces that they have NOTHING I want in their purses. It SUCKS to know that the ONLY reason they grabbed their bags is because they saw me, a black woman, approaching them in the cereal aisle!!! Someday I am going to get mad enough to confront one such person and tell her: "You have absolutely nothing that I want in your imitation Kate Spade bag, so you don't have to grab it, you racist pig." Truthfully, I probably will never actually go through with it, but I definitely have thought about it often. Can you tell that this one bothers me A LOT???)

What difference does it make that we are supposed to show that we are Christians by our love for each other when we spend so much time figuring out ways to make everyone who doesn't agree with our precise doctrinal, denominational, economic, social, or political viewpoints feel completely wrong and un-godly?

What difference does it make that so many of us who call ourselves Christians are vehemently vocal about defending ourselves and our nation against our enemies, and speak out against conservation of water and other natural resources, and any suggestion that we need to curb our rampant consumerism is considered an endorsement of marxism or communism, but so rarely talk about seeking peace and pursuing it, loving and blessing our enemies, and being careful stewards of our finances, our material possessions, and the planet God created for us to live on and enjoy?


"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?"- Gandhi


What difference indeed?

3 comments:

Amy said...

Gail,

This marvelous piece of writing should be a newspaper editorial. Wow!

Yes, I did enjoy my "silent night!" I soaked in my hot tub and listened to the trees rustling and the water bubbling. By the time my son returned home from soccer practice, I was ready to talk!

I really love your blog. Your thoughts challenge me!

Amy

Marcia said...

I like the way you approached this...

Anonymous said...

A rainbow has many colors.If someone is biased against another color, they are blind to the beauty of all things.