I have been rather silent here since departing on a fantastic journey over the ocean. I am currently in Hungary: mostly Budapest, but right now in a town called Balatonfoldvar. This trip has got me mulling over many things, not least of which, Communism.
On a trip to Cuba many years ago, the bus driver taking us to Havana pointed to a large statue of Jesus and announced, “now there’s the first Communist”. Sad that the communists who followed didn’t understand what Jesus was actually talking about. Under the Communist regime, people fled countries such as Hungary in order to find the freedom to worship, to own enough to survive and to escape the imminent danger of being killed. I spoke to a man this morning through an interpreter who explained that his parents were Salvation Army Officers before the war until their work was “closed” by the government. Though a classless, moneyless, stateless social order was the goal, it never worked.
As our hosts led us through Budapest earlier this week, they somewhat lamented the arrival of Starbucks. They spoke of how major revolutions began over a small cup of espresso, chased by a glass of sparkling water in the small kávé shops. It’s harder to have important conversations when you order a large cup of coffee to go. While there are many statues of Lenin and Stalin (though now housed in “Memento Park”), there are more of poets and others who participated in major social change.
My mind went to the many coffee shops along the Queen Street West strip in Parkdale. What would it look like to participate in revolution from the PNC office on the street? I long to learn how to really share all that has been given to me in abundance with those who have less. I want to grasp all that is given to me out of apparent poverty. I hope that in the process the lines between classes, if not eradicated, will be entirely blurred.
I look forward to the time when Jesus will truly make us all the same. In the meantime, I desire to be changed, to be revolutionized. Maybe it could even happen in the little coffee shop at the corner of Queen and Dunn.