Okay, I admit that “enjoying” can be a relative term, especially when you’re an introvert in Walmart. Nonetheless, we were having a good time trying to find a cheap, clear storage bin for a hatchling Red Eared Slider (aquatic turtle) that I found last week. (It’s too soon to tell if we’ll keep the turtle long enough to need an actual aquarium.) So, we were in the storage bin aisle when our oldest daughter started to sing. Loudly.
She’s 3 1/2 years old, so she knows a number of Bible class songs, but the one she chose was “Blue Skies and Rainbows.” So she was in a cart with her 2 1/2 year-old-sister singing “I know that Jesus is well and alive today, He makes His home in my heart. Never more will I be all alone since He promised me that we never would part.” My wife Charity and I thought it was so cute to hear her precious voice singing precious words in Walmart.
Then I looked down the aisle, and there were some other people doing their shopping. They were smiling at our little girl singing…at full voice…about Jesus…in Walmart. I don’t think our daughter even noticed they were there, but if she did, she didn’t seem to feel any embarrassment or shame. But for half a second, I started to shush her or at least tell her to sing quietly. After all, we were in public.
And then I thought, Why would I ever tell her to stop? First, she’s little, and nobody cares if little kids sing in the store. Second, she’s singing about Jesus! Why can’t I do that?
I know there’s a fine line between living a life of conviction and being a candidate for commitment. But didn’t Jesus sometimes cross that line in the eyes of the religious scrooges and hateful pagans of His day? Jesus didn’t always follow the socially-prescribed rules of etiquette, especially if those rules got in the way when He was teaching about the coming Kingdom of God or putting someone’s broken life back together. Jesus ministered to people in public all the time. And that didn’t make Him crazy. Sure, some people hated Him for it, but others were healed by it. I guess Jesus knew that the trade off was worth it.
This doesn’t mean that we always have to ruffle feathers or ignore common courtesies. Jesus wasn’t really a rebel, unless you define things according to the world and its unrighteous rules. Jesus was always obedient and faithful to God the Father. He loved God and He loved people, and those are the two most important rules we have to live by (Luke 10:27). And there’s nothing in those rules to say you can’t sing about Jesus in Walmart.
In fact, maybe there’s something in those rules that says we should.