Last week I heard an acquaintance speak briefly of her ten-day trip to Sudan.  The conversation started out innocently enough.  We were at church and the question had been posed: What does giving look like?  (you know, or something like that)  And she began to tell of all of the people.  The people who shared everything.  The people who were nothing like us.  She told us how she didn’t eat lunch for the majority of her ten-day trip because she shared her food with the children.  But her point wasn’t that she shared food with the Sudanese children.  Her point was this:  Even though the children were literally starving to death, their stomaches protruding from parasites, they never kept the food they had been given all for themselves.  They shared it with their friends.  Their brothers and sisters. They took it to their mothers.

We purchased a plasma screen television today.  And as we stood at the register I watched as several couples gathered around a salesman who was letting them view one of the new 3D televisions.  He started to give the break down of the cost.  2500 for the TV.  400 for the Blu-Ray.  180 for each set of 3D glasses.

I listened as he explained that over thirty video games are due out that will be 3D compatible.  ESPN and other programs are going to devote entire channels to the 3D experience.  And he started flipping through some of the scene sequences that show off the television’s capabilities, pausing on an african nature scene: animals devouring other animals.  And the onlookers ooh’ed and ahh’ed at the stunning visuals.

Something about the entire scene struck me and I recalled the picture that was painted of the starving children in Sudan.  I was awed by the gross overconsumption, or the image thereof.  People standing around considering a television that is beyond the current readily available technology.  Why would one spend their money on such a monstrosity?  And then I looked at our receipt.  And the stunningly beautiful piece of equipment we just purchased.  And I hoped that we would watch Avatar first.