The mall doors opened, and I could almost feel a smoke embrace us with its tendrils. Didn’t we just get presents yesterday? Oh yeah, lots of green stuff. I watched the strollers of hassled babies, gaggles of teenagers, the battle-hardened mall employees. How do so many stores exist? How do they draw these crowds? How much do they spend on sound systems for this amplified music? How can smells travel so far?
I looked around and felt attacked by the need to be cool, included, loved by people no matter what – black tendrils of thought woven into awesome bass beats and stylized signage. And yet I was not walking alone and unarmed. The Holy Spirit walked into that mall with me. Spiritual bodyguard. Big muscles. Good for a joke as well. And so I admired the creativity, artistry, and engineering of the displays. I joked with my friends and prayed for the people who wanted more than this after Christmas was done for them. I danced a little, and remembered the joy of Christmas spans the entire year – because Jesus still lives. I’m still celebrating – even at the mall.
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10.