April 8, 2007

Faith of the Fallen

My wife and I found ourselves at the local Super Wal Mart today to get some groceries for dinner and I couldn't help noticing that everybody there seemed so ... so sad. Now, I'm not the type to frequent Wal Mart, mostly because I find the environment to be less than conducive to mental activity of any productive sort (the fact that I can crank out that sentence after visiting the place is miraculous enough), but I always get some sort of headache from the flourescent lighting.

But when I mentioned to Liz my observation, she gave me the look and said "well of course, it's not just because it's Easter, it's always like this here.

What first made it catch my attention was the checkout line. I'd had a hunch before that, mind you, but when we got to the counter, the girl checking out customers had a look on her face I've seen before, only it wasn't on a clerk, it was on a homeless guy in Melbourne. The look screamed "hopelessness" at me, though I couldn't imagine her scremaing at all, because that would have taken energy and, you know, what's the point?

That's when I started looking around the store and seeing the look, to varying degrees, on almost everybody. The lady behind us, a pair of guys a few aisles over, a manager working with a customer, a family here, a teenager there. No matter what their age, weight, or dress style, the look was present in some form.

It bothered me. On the one hand I've heard lots of harsh things about Wal Mart from lots of different people, things about where they get their products, how they treat their employees, and how we should boycott them because of it. A friend of mine once told me to go so far as to pay double the cost for our food, just avoid WalMart at all costs. I'm beginning to see what she meant.

But it also made me think about Easter in a new light. I don't know if you can be a missionary to Wal Mart, but there must be a way. I think Jesus would've gone to Wal Mart; not because he loved the products or the way they treat their employees, but because there are people there that need the hope that he can give.

Maybe Jesus would've been the one upbeat greeter at Wal Mart, or the one happy sales clerk, or the one helpful stock person who you remember every time because, come on, he does his job well. Thinking like that I managed a cheerful smile and a "thanks for your help!" to the girl as we left. It hardly phased her, though she did manage an exhausted "you're welcome, have a nice day." This is the south, they have to mind their manners.

We talked on the way home about it, how it seems like nobody cares there anymore, how hope seems to have fled those bleak white aisles. But I wonder, has it? Or is it there and we're not looking hard enough? The worst that humanity has to offer has already been had - we nailed God's son to a cross and let him suffer and die. We aren't capable of much worse than that; there IS nothing worse. And yet we don't see the hope that came when Jesus defied the death we imposed upon him and




Our hope is already here, we have but to seek him. The redemption of our world has begun, and he who redeems has asked us to take part. Sometimes in the darkest places it may seem that it's deserted us, but fear not, hope can no longer die. Take heart.

Happy Easter, everybody.

No comments: