The below is from an intriguing article discussing the future picture of what a “great depression” may look like in our day. 

And above all, a depression circa 2009 might be a less visible and more isolating experience. With the diminishing price of televisions and the proliferation of channels, it’s getting easier and easier to kill time alone, and free time is one thing a 21st-century depression would create in abundance. Instead of dusty farm families, the icon of a modern-day depression might be something as subtle as the flickering glow of millions of televisions glimpsed through living room windows, as the nation’s unemployed sit at home filling their days with the cheapest form of distraction available.

 Interesting, that the icon of a great depression would be the television.  The television being the tool to help us forget.  It would make a lot of sense that in the midst of current trends of emotional depression, hopelessness and despair that these feelings would only increase and be magnifide by the loss of security as spurred on by a financial depression.  I could forecast that emotional trauma would multiply, with hopelessness and despair being the typical emotional outlook.  Instead of facing these feelings of emptiness the TV would become, not only a great time filler, but an escape.  An escape from the helplessness of the noise around them.  The TV storylines of family, safety, security will transcend their own stories.  I imagine that the TV story lines will revert back the happy and secure plots of the 80’s Cosby show and the 70’s Partridge family.  

The TV would become the form of distraction from the unsettledness of life around me.  The cheap and accessible drug to lull the pain.  The 30 minute escape, into the fake life of imaginary charcters.  And as with all successful TV shows I become more connected to the fictional characters than I do my own neighbours. Their happy families, nice jobs, nice houses and neatly managed lives would be the soothing images that would help shield the “real-life” story of those around me who houses are being lost to foreclosure, the family friend who lost his job and the general messiness of life.

What a place for the story of the church.  People who are not only caring about the needs of others, but in tangible, real life ways providing for the needs of those around them, both physical and emotional.  It is time for us as the church, to begin preparation for such times.  Not only in terms of stocking away our 5 gallon buckets of dehydrated lentil soup, but in terms of the heart, spirit and mission of the church.  To become a place, a central place, maybe even the central place, where those who are at the end of their rope, financially, spiritually and emotionally will find an answer.  The reincarnation of the faux-ideal life of the Cosby family is not what we need, but a tangible church living out the life of Jesus that impacts real sorrows, hurts and pains and walks with and alongside those pains.  That is a story that the world may want to tune into.  

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