A display of senseless worth

“Given the saturation of technology in our culture, it should not have surprised me to find seven flat-screen television sets mounted in a church. What surprised me is that the seven sets were mounted in one men’s bathroom. As I stood over a urinal where announcements and videos are constantly replayed to those seeking simply to empty their bladders, I remembered a conversation with a village woman in Liberia. I naively asked this woman, who was standing by a river, where children were both gathering water and bathing, how many children had died in their village from unsafe drinking water. This young mother started to count, and it was clear that there were more children than she was capable of counting. Finally she answered simply, ‘By me, three.’ This dear woman lost three of her own children to cholera (due to drinking river water) in one year. She was dumpfounded to hear that we flush our toilets in the United States with clean drinking water. How could we waste such a precious commodity like clean water when it meant the difference between life and death for her children? Her bewilderment at our wastefulness brought home the reality of our failure, as as I stood in this church restroom, I wondered what she would think of us if she could see this display of senseless wealth.”

-Chris Seay, in his book The Gospel According to Jesus

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