Monday, January 18, 2010


I walked into the department store today and immediately realized something was different. It took a few seconds to process. First, the normal loud music wasn't playing. It was quiet. Second, all of the employees seemed to be at attention, not talking with one another, not dusting the displays or following customers around as usual. Then I heard the slow, deep, reverent, sounding voice over the intercom system;
Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
I slipped into a side aisle to wait it out, knowing that I needed to show respect...
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death. Amen.
The Hail Mary was followed by a prayer to Jesus, and a solemn call to remember to pray regularly.

The moment the exhortation was finished, the music resumed. It was a popular Filipino rock song, and all the employees in the store began dancing in unison to it. The incongruity was startling. 'Lord,' I asked, 'how can they be praying reverently one moment and doing these moves the next?!? Can't they see the hypocrisy here? How could this be true love for You?'

My ugly, self-righteous attitude was checked quickly as I tried to maneuver my way past another shopper and an employee who together were blocking the aisle, blissfully unaware of the subtle western messages I was sending, suggesting that I wanted to pass. I growled inwardly with frustration as I turned to retrace my steps to go back down the aisle I'd come. "...and your neighbor as yourself." Ouch.


Heritage Clan said...

Whew! I thought for a second you were dancing the rock song along with the employees!!

us5 said...


Anonymous said...

Wow....can I relate to that! Well worded!