This woman is phenomenally resourceful. Having been forced to move out of her home, she found an unused shipping container and opted to live out of it. But it’s not as bad as you would think…

To paraphrase some of what she says,

“It’s this idea of impermanence, we are just transitioning.

You have a different relationship with the objects you live with, I used to have 20 spoons but why did I need 20 spoons?

Material things are just borrowed, we don’t own things, we get them for a little bit and we pass it on.

None of this is ours, we try to secure our identities with our house, our family, our car, my children, my career. The bigger these things are the more assured I am of myself, but your house is really just a prison tied to the bank.”

I don’t know where this lady stands in relation to Jesus, but her philosophy regarding the material world is certainly close to Biblical faith. Yet there are also subtle and important differences. The Christian worldview certainly looks at the material world as one of impermanence and this should affect the way in which we view material possessions. But the Christian worldview also affirms the material world as something originally created as good by a good Creator. An ascetic lifestyle (a life of no possessions) is often based upon a philosophy that this world is evil and that a real or more meaningful life is focused upon the spiritual. This runs counter to the Bible’s message about creation, and how creation itself is to be restored in the future.

The Christian view of material possessions is also shaped by the concept of stewardship, so we don’t forsake possessions for the sake of forsaking them, but we steward our possessions and gifts in a way which builds up others and honours God. This is what it meant for the early church to have ‘all things in common’ (cf Acts 2:44): the concept of ownership was transformed from individual to corporate. So my cart is our cart, my horse is our horse. So I might own 20 spoons, but they are 20 spoons for the benefit of others and not just myself.

In all, this is a challenging video. I was quite astonished that she would forsake a bigger home in order to spend more time with her daughter than working to pay the rent. That is a precious understanding of work/life balance that too many of us lose sight of. We also need to be careful not to inadvertently envy her lifestyle, rather consider what we have and how we can best share this with others.


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