Outraged After Thanksgiving!

Yesterday our daughter had to work. She is the hostess at a cute, little restaurant nearby. Wayne and I decided to see a movie. After making a selection, we picked a cinema close to us. We had heard this movie would be sold out, so we went early to purchase our tickets. We had about 30 minutes to wait in the dark room with the ridiculous pre-movie clips looping. We were just waiting for the trailers; they would be a relief.

But the room filled up fast, and I was glad we got two good seats. I stayed planted while Wayne took a quick walk around and then back to his seat. About two minutes before showtime, the place was packed with the exception of two seats–one on each side of a couple in the row in front of us.

An elderly gentleman climbed the stairs and broached the woman sitting with one seat on her left. He asked kindly if she and her friend would mind scooting over, so he and his wife could sit together. The younger woman and man bolted out of their chairs and slammed their bodies down one place over. They made a scene, but this made room for the the elderly couple to sit together.

The elderly man motioned to his wife to climb the stairs and join him. He leaned over to the woman and man, who had moved, and said thank you. In fact, he said thank you three times. Then the woman said something that made the elderly man think that he was not welcome in the seat.

So he asked plainly, loud enough for us to hear, “I take it you don’t want us to sit here.”

Her reply, “No, I don’t.

Again, the elderly man asked, “You don’t want us to sit here?” His voice sounded stunned.

The answer, “No.”

The elderly man grabbed his wife’s hand and lead her out of the cinema. On his way out, he turned to the younger couple and said, “Well, we won’t sit here then. Happy holidays to you.”

The elderly couple left the cinema. The seats on the front row were just too close.

I was shocked at this selfish, rude behavior of the younger couple, feeling impositioned to move over one seat and enable the older couple to sit down together.

To what selfish heights have we climbed? We, who live lives of opulent luxury, even in middle-class America, such as the world has never seen. All this wealth, all this luxury, all this stuff, all this education, all these privileges, where has it led us?

 No wonder the world hates us. This is a small thing, but it is a big thing. This is how we treat each other.

My husband and I travel extensively internationally. A decade ago, wherever we went, we were honored for being Americans. Believe me, we deserve no honor. But as Americans we always caused a stir. Now we cover our passports and try to pass quietly through borders and airports. We are not ashamed, but we are wise. It is not popular to be Americans on the international scene today. Believe me we hear more than our share of the world’s negative opinions of us outside of America.

The code by which we live says that “to whom much is given, much is required.”

We have been entrusted with great wealth, great opportunity, great education, and great stature in this world.

Why are we acting like small, selfish paupers, who can’t even move over one seat to allow our own elderly countrymen a good seat in the cinema? We have every reason to “freely give, as it has been given to us.” Our hearts should overflow with generosity, and especially now in the Season of Light, when the message is “Peace on Earth. Goodwill to men.”

Peace and goodwill enter our lives by personal choice.

I am outraged!

That woman was worse than any Scrooge I have ever met, and I hope she reading this to see a mirror of what her selfishness looked like to us, the row of people sitting behind her.

I hope her selfishness ruined the movie for her. I doubt it though, her apathy was too thick, too inward, too hard.

Now I am wondering why we didn’t give our seats to the elderly couple. I guess we were too dull and apathetic too.


16 thoughts on “Outraged After Thanksgiving!

  1. Bonnie:
    Your experiences and words, as always, help us refocus back to the core of who we are as followers of Jesus, Messiah. Each day I am FORCED to think about the incredible gulf that divides us, as Americans (along with Canada Australia, West Europe, New Zealand and Japan-a total of 11 percent of the world’s population and yet consuming over 80% of the world’s natural resources) from the vast majority of the world. If we are not forced to see things, perhaps more like God sees them, in a more neutral 20-20 vision we might actually start to believe that WE are the norm. Unfortunately we are far from it. We are a mere small minority in a sea of poverty, corruption, illness, early death and war. Yes, much IS expected from us. If we do not do it– I firmly believe it WILL be taken away from us.

    The couple you unfortunately had to endure may not represent all of America (or the West), but it is representational of many who can not see anything beyond their noses, to the detriment of themselves but also our country. The WORLD REALLY does take notice of what we do and say here in our nation. Unfortunately, we are not forced to learn and see what is happening in the remaining 90% of our planet. That information is available if you are motivated to seek it, but it is not fed to us daily, only the latest pop culture news is! Unfortunately, I think our country has got it wrong. For those of us whose lives are not our own, we must continue to persevere – for the Lord in Heaven, where our true citizenship ulimately resides. Praise be to Him who changes hearts and minds!

  2. It’s funny how we seldom say what should be said in situations like that. It’s sometimes better to be quiet. That can make people ashamed when accompanied by a long longer-than-glance look.
    We have to realize people are unhappy and that makes them react selfishly. Sad that the elderly have no place of honor.

  3. bon, i felt like wailing as I read this. I just want to reach into the heart of God and grab more of His heart for a dying world. Also I do not want to be caught off guard with my own selfishness. Funny how we can see things in other and be dull to our own junk. Thanks for helping us to humble ourselves and regard our own iniquity. We are so lost without Him. I was just reading in second Peter 1:3. “As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. ” I am crying out for more of Him.

  4. Lamar,

    People’s hurts and unhappiness make them selfish. I have seen it in my own life at times. But there is hope…

    Bonnie

  5. Working in a nursing home as my husband and I do, this sort of thing truly saddens me. We can be so callous towards the frailties of our elderly in this society, unlike so many other cultures. Perhaps that young lady will see her selfishness and change her outlook when her own elderly loved one is dependent upon her or on the kindness of others. If not, may God be merciful on her soul when she herself gets old. After all, we reap what we sow….

  6. Bonnie,
    As I approached the Throne of Grace this morning, I was crying out to God to change me and my attitude that it is All About Me, due to some issues on my secular job. I so desire to be more and more like Him and have the minute to minute, second to second attitude, remembering It is all about Him. No sooner after my quiet time then I start weeding out emails and your’s catches my eye. Boy! Does God know right where we are in our walk. 🙂 This email really touched my heart and hit home with me. Thank you so much for sharing! Dennis and I anticipate the day when we are totally working for God full time.

  7. Diana,

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I agree with you so much. Wayne and I cry out all the time for mercy and the ability to love the unlovely. We know how much God has forgiven us! How much we need mercy!

    Bonnie

  8. Bonnie,
    My heart grieves as I read this. Oh that we would fall in love with Christ more deeply; that we would be His light and that our evolution into the image of Christ would effect change and liberate the world.

  9. Tracee,

    I completely agree!

    Hey, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. You made my day. Hope you guys have a great holiday season!

    Bonnie

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