Going Shopping

20 Aug

Sometimes people do it with a purpose. Sometimes people do it to pass time.  Sometimes people enjoy it.  Sometimes it is only a sense of duty.  Sometimes people are compelled to repeat it over and over again, beyond their needs, for reasons they don’t understand.  Shopping, like worship, is not the same for everybody.  This week we went shopping for a digital recorder for language class.  We had a mission.  We had a duty and purpose.  There are no malls or Wal-Marts.  There are districts where stores for certain types of products are found.  The electronics district is adjacent to one of the largest mosques.  That is where we parked the car.  After 50 shops and three hours with no success, it was long past enjoyment.  Everybody had cassette recorders…finally, one person had a digital recorder…at three times the price in a Best Buy store.  The sidewalks had become increasingly hard to negotiate with the tide of humanity seeming to move out when we were moving in.  We paid the price, out of desperation, feeling a sense of defeat rather than victory for bagging the prize.  It was five blocks back to the car when the call to prayer at the mosque began.  Muslim believers began pouring toward the mosque from everywhere.  The flowing tide became a surging flood the closer we came to our parking spot.  Our driver and escort had unknowingly parked where the worshipers gathered to go through the ceremonial washing of their eyes and feet before they began their prayers.  Many poured water from bottles of purchased drinking water, others dipped used water that was, by then, flowing in the street gutter.  This filthy water that had washed the sin from another’s eyes seemed adequate in the ritual to accomplish cleansing second-hand and third and fourth.  Picking our way gently but quickly through the crowd of “washers” we collapsed into the ostensible fortress and haven within the interior of the auto.  Peering through the glass I saw suffering souls, not unlike shoppers compelled to “worship” for reasons and compulsions they can’t completely identify.  Out side my window for as far as I could see, I saw the duped souls that God saw in all of mankind when He wrote in His Word that the only way to the Father is through His Son, Jesus Christ.  I think I know why Jesus wept.  Where is the eternal hope for this multitude.  These salvation shoppers.  The crushing heaviness of that moment threatened despair.  So I prayed, God Help!  Share real hope with these hearts.

One Response to “Going Shopping”

  1. Lorena Steffen August 24, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    What a frustrating and enlightening experience your shopping trip was!
    I sympathize with you, and share your grief for the hundreds of Muslims in that community with no hope for salvation. And yet, they are mulitiplying all over the world. How sad! Thank you for sharing.

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