Spiritual thoughts in the Target aisle.

“So, any more ideas about retail-inspired spiritual formation?” Jane asked. “I thought about it Friday when I stopped to pick up a couple things.”

She was talking about a conversation we had last week.

“How did our conversation shape your visit? I asked.

“I’m not sure about shaping it,” she said. “But I was going to get a wedding present. And as I walked past the grocery aisle I saw the wine and thought, ‘I wonder what Jesus took to that wedding he visited with his mom?’ I mean, did he take a gift or did the water he turned into wine count as a gift?”

We laughed. “I’ll take that. Tying Sunday school stories to Target aisles is a way to wrestle with the ideas. Did you notice anything else?”

“Actually, I did,” she said slowly. “I had never looked careful at the signs. But there are all these images of perfect skin and makeup as I walk along that aisle to the paper towels. And I thought about how it creates expectations about what the makeup will do. And it never works that way for me.”

I waited. I had no idea how to respond.

“And then I realized that maybe church does the same thing, creating perfect images that could never work in real life. But then I thought about a couple friends I have, who know me and love me and pray with me and help me heal. And if church is three friends, maybe it’s not all fake like the makeup posters.”

“You got that in the aisle at Target?” I said. “That’s pretty remarkable.”

“Why is is so surprising?” she laughed. “Do you think Jesus doesn’t go to Target? I’ll tell you where he doesn’t go. Wal-mart.”

I smiled. “That’s where we were going next!”

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

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