I work in a mall…

an Advent musing from Catherine Pate


work in a mall. Well, I don’t exactly work in a mall, but my office is situated in a mall.  As I sit at my computer each day I overlook the second floor corridor as people make their way from one end of the mall to the other, weaving in and out of stores like mice scurrying in and out of their burrows.

portageplace.jpgFrom where I sit, I am eye level with the twinkling lights of one of the many decorated archways lining this particular corridor beginning on November 1st through January 1st. In the midst of the little white lights that dangle like untied shoe laces, an enormous red and gold bow hangs stiffly from the centre of the garland crowning it on both sides, just as it has each year for at least the last four.

As the seasons change, I watch as the manikins in the Urban Planet window don the latest fashions, beckoning eager youth out looking to load up on inexpensive fashions. And at this time of the year a “holiday” tree stands next to the Chanel display at Holt Renfrew, reminding last minute Christmas shoppers that a fine bottle of perfume can say a lot in a pinch.

Everything waits here at the mall. It all waits…to be bought, to be sold, to be consumed and then bought again. It waits. And as it waits, it promises…happiness, fulfillment, or, at the very least, a good Christmas morning around the overstuffed tree.

And, in the midst of the mall that waits I wait too. I wait for something to change. I wait for the people I watch walk past my window each day to say a collective “Enough.” I wait for someone to say, “Hey, my cell phone is just fine. I don’t need an iPhone 3G to call my mother.” I wait.

I wait, on the edge of my seat, for the promise to be fulfilled. For the flocks to be fed, the lambs to be gathered up and for mother sheep everywhere to be gently led home.

Catherine Pate is the co-founder of saint benedict’s table, and works as the Program Editor for Evangelical Lutheran Women Inc.  

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