Sunday, March 15, 2009

Air buses, families without fathers, money and the supermarket

I see in the Herald on Sunday that the lead story is about the tragic air bus crash in France. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10561736. In this crash, tragically 5 people died pilot Brian Horrell, 52, aircraft engineers Noel Marsh, 35, Michael Gyles, 49 and Murray White 37, and Civil Aviation Authority inspector Jeremy Cook, 58. What gets me as I read this is how money ends up clouding every issue. One would have thought that the companies involved would move quickly and compassionately to compensate the families. These men gave their lives for the company and their families are now withut their fathers and husbands. Yet, according to this article, this is going to get messy as XL airlines, Air NZ and ACC decide who pays what, when etc. We are utterly held captive to money aren't we. We have formed our society on it, and we are in its grip. This demonstrates this.

I saw this at the supermarket last night. I was in a bit of a rush and saw a check out with a woman just finishing her shopping. I unloaded the trolley and then I had that sinking feeling that I would be there for a while. She had picked some organic cheese and it was supposedly labelled $4.80. It came up at $5.90 when swiped. So the dispute began. It went on and on. Foodtown people checked, argued she was wrong. She refused to relent. I started to get annoyed and said, let me pay for it, all of it, if I can just get my shopping done and get home. Ultimately the customer backed down and went home paying for it all.

It was a classic stand off and over $1! Foodtown should have relented and let the lady pay the original, what the heck is a $1? She could have backed down. Personally, I would have let me pay.

All this shows how we are trapped. Jesus was not into money and being concerned about it. He did not have a problem with it, but saw its dangers. It gets a hold of us, grips us, it becomes our governing imperative. Whether you are rich or poor it can have the same effect; the rich hoarding it, wanting more and living a life of apparent luxury when it is oppression. The poor can be in its grip too, wanting more, cutting corners, desperate for more more more.

Jesus said you cannot serve God and money... we must not. We must make Jesus and his Kingdom our treasure. We must show compassion, hold it lightly, and help others with it.

Those with power and money should lead the way with compassion and grace. I think Air NZ should stump up some really good compensation packages for these poor families. They should work to see XL airlines recompense them. But they should show the compassion of Christ to these families. They have the power. They have the money. They should lead.

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