A Christian coupon book. I got it at a store for Christians. You know, the kind with Bibles, books and trinkets like
- Five Loaves And Three Fishes earrings,
- Fill My Thirsty Soul mugs
- and Spread the Good News spatula sets.
Soothing praise songs played from speakers throughout the store.
“Are you alright?” eager employees chirped around me, “Are you OK? Can I get you anything?”
My daughter found the Bible she was looking for. We headed to the checkout desk.
“Can’t help you,” said the girl behind the counter. She formed her words tentatively as if any moment could be her last. No smile. No apology. “I don’t know how to work the register. I’m new.”
While I waited for another cashier to finish with her customer, the new employee glanced quickly from side to side. Her muscles tensed in her cheeks.
I began to speculate
- on the possibility
- that she had just returned
- from a disciplinary session for not-so-exuberant employees.
Perhaps,she had been given fifty lashes with with one of those half –price Jesus posters from the clearance section.
No, I corrected myself. Not true. This is a Christian store. The front porch to paradise. The foyer to Heaven. Maybe that particular employee should have cashed in some of her coupons. Imagine a 25 percent off Fruits-of -the-Spirit in her hands.
As we left, I held my own Christian coupon book close. It’s smooth pages felt supernaturally warm to the touch.
In the car, I opened it up.
There were coupons for DVDs, books and even greeting cards. Nothing was Sacred. Nothing was Holy. It was just a religious version of mass marketing.
I thought of the saying “You get what you pay for in the end”.
Then, I remembered my daughter’s purchase.
A Bible. The greatest story ever told. The plan of redemption. Eternal salvation.