By now I’m sure you’ve all heard that a man was trampled to death at Wal-Mart while opening the doors for “Black Friday.” It’s a sad testimony to the greedy, self-absorbed culture that American consumerism (combined with total depravity) has created. How a mass of people can continue to walk over an actual human being lying on the ground is mind boggling to me, and then to find out that they have, by their combined efforts, killed this man is an outrage. Of course I can’t help but wonder how this will affect Black Friday.
Will the stamping to death of a human being tarnish this “Black” day? One can only hope that it will compel department stores to think differently about how they participate in the holiday. Some are already suggesting that such re-thinking will happen, and I can imagine that there will be some new safe guards that stores put in place for their employees, but in a world where the almighty dollar rules you can imagine that not much will change.
Black Friday is so necessary for many stores to stay out of the “red” that they will resist hampering the masses from storming their doors. Anything that may add to a decline of shoppers will be avoided like the plague. A little more blackened or not, I don’t suspect much will change in terms of Black Friday.
But as Christians we must think carefully about our part. I would love to say that were I one of those in the materialistic hungry stampede I would have bent to pick up this poor beaten down man, but I can see myself trying to jump over him (because of course this is better than stomping on him, right?) while I raced to get some new iPod gadget. I need to be careful that my judgment of these Wal-Mart stompers isn’t self-righteous. I am, because of my sin, all too likely to knock someone over on my way to grab a rare book off the store shelves. We are all sinners, capable of all sorts of sins, and we must beware of a self-righteousness that says I am obviously better than them. Jesus warns us well of such things!
So if you participate next year in this tarnished Black Friday you should beware of your judgments, and, perhaps even more significantly, beware of what you step on.