Did you hear about the guy who attacked a woman at the Thanksgiving Day dinner table? She was sitting in the chair he wanted, so he attacked her with a foot-long butcher knife.
Did you hear about the 20 customers hurt in Los Angeles on Black Friday? A woman pepper sprayed fellow shoppers in order to get a discounted video game player.
Did you hear about the man in California who was shot when two armed men tried to steal the things he and his family had purchased? He is in critical condition, but, thankfully, expected to survive the incident.
Did you hear about the two women injured in New York, or the guy in Phoenix, or the customers in North Carolina, or the guy who was hit by another shopper in Connecticut, or the teen who was knocked down and stepped on in Michigan, or the bomb threats?
Makes you wonder how many people don’t understand the meaning of giving thanks or of peace on earth, good will to all. Makes you wonder how close to the surface in all of us lies that dark, animal madness that can come roaring out, making us all too willing to fight to the death for a game box.
If we were starving to death, maybe it would be understandable. If we were naked or in peril for our lives or for the lives of our children, it might make sense. But for one more TV in a household that already has several? For one more game for kids who have games strewn all over the house? For one more … anything?
We are so crazy about stuff that now we have Black Thursday as well as Black Friday. And that doesn’t count every day between now and December 25, when every street will be full of angry drives fighting holiday traffic and angry shoppers snatching things up as if their lives depended on whether or not they could get their kid one more of the latest and greatest whatever.
But in all this melee, we can be thankful, because in spite of the raging mania to get stuff – even little, unimportant stuff – most of us sat at our Thanksgiving table and used our knives for our food rather than to stab each other. Most of us will spend this month politely giving way to the other person, smiling at strangers who, in turn, smile back, enjoying the lights and the glitter and the music and the festivity of the season. Most of us will be thinking of family gatherings with loved ones and fellowship with friends. And most of us will be thankful to the God of grace who gives us all good things.
May we all be thankful for this final month of the year if for no other reason than to enjoy the blessings with which the Lord daily blesses us.
Barbara Ann Oliver is Managing Editor of BNc.
Barbara has been involved in missions for over 25 years, both in the field and in publishing.