Wednesday, June 12, 2013


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 with 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 quickly checked 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 sent, suggesting that I wanted to get past. I growled inwardly with frustration as I turned to go around the long way. "...and your neighbor as yourself." 

*revised from the archives

1 comment:

Kay @ The Church Cook said...

Hey, is that electric slide dancing?! I love that dance! oooops.