There is a sad reality in the world of fashion. Many of the designer clothes for sale in malls across the world are made by underpaid workers, in unsafe conditions, who do not make a profit from our “50% off” sales purchases.

Worse still are the diamonds, mined by slaves of war that adorn thousands of painted, manicured, and moisturized hands.

These are realities that came to the surface for many consumers in the last decade, and despite the loud cries for justice, magazine and news reports, and even Hollywood declaring how blind society is to these injustices-  it has never been easier to wear black-market shades and forget.

There is a song about this.

Psalms 73 (MSG)

“No doubt about it! God is good—
good to good people, good to the good-hearted. 

But I nearly missed it,
missed seeing his goodness.

I was looking the other way, looking up to the people

At the top,
envying the wicked who have it made,

Who have nothing to worry about,
not a care in the whole wide world.

Pretentious with arrogance, they wear the latest fashions in violence…”

It is so easy to see the latest fashions and trends in clothing, music, and movies, watch the glamour of fortune and to feel envy.  Why are they living gloriously wicked lives, and getting away with it!?  In the humdrum of everyday survival it seems near impossible to catch a break sometimes, so it is easy to justify arrogance, and comfort oneself with the pride of life.

Questions to ask oneself:

Do I envy or resent the fortune of the corrupt?  

Do I realize there are people who may envy me? 

Looking at the world and how it gets away with injustice, observing the top one percent hoarding wealth by controlling minds, neglecting lives, and abusing power…it can lead one to say like the psalmist…

“What’s going on here? Is God out to lunch?
    Nobody’s tending the store.
The wicked get by with everything;
    they have it made, piling up riches.
I’ve been stupid to play by the rules;
    what has it gotten me?
A long run of bad luck, that’s what—
    a slap in the face every time I walk out the door.”

It hurts seeing hard work wasted.  Hope is deferred, when the careless seem to have more success.  But the song doesn’t end there…

“If I’d have given in and talked like this,
 I would have betrayed your dear children.

Still, when I tried to figure it out,
 all I got was a splitting headache . . .

Until I entered the sanctuary of God. Then I saw the whole picture:

   The slippery road you’ve put them on,
 with a final crash in a ditch of delusions.

In the blink of an eye, disaster!
    A blind curve in the dark, and—nightmare!

We wake up and rub our eyes. . . . Nothing.
There’s nothing to them. And there never was.

When I was beleaguered and bitter,
 totally consumed by envy,
I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox in your very presence.

I’m still in your presence,
 but you’ve taken my hand.

You wisely and tenderly lead me,
 and then you bless me.”

Is it really in a felt presence, in tender hands that one sees truth, one is led, blessed, and protected?  A king once said,

“Consider the lilies of the field and how they grow. They do not work or weave or sew, and yet their garments are stunning. Even King Solomon, dressed in his most regal garb, was not as lovely as these lilies.”

And think about grassy fields—the grasses are here now, but they will be dead by winter. And yet God adorns them so radiantly. How much more will He clothe you, you of little faith, you who have no trust? 

So do not consume yourselves with questions: What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?”  (Matt. 6 The Voice)

The end of the seventy-third psalm is a response worthy of meditation.

“You’re all I want in heaven! You’re all I want on earth!

When my skin sags and my bones get brittle,
 God is rock-firm and faithful.

Look! Those who left you are falling apart!

Deserters, they’ll never be heard from again.  But I’m in the very presence of God—

    oh, how refreshing it is!
I’ve made Lord God my home.

  God, I’m telling the world what you do!”