A few days ago my friend and fellow writer, Linda O’Connell, posted a link on her Facebook page. I clicked on the link and was treated to a “flash mob” Christmas performance in a mall. I watched, remembering the time I participated in such an event back in 2010.
Flash mobs have been around for a while now. I remember how excited my Mom was the first time she saw one. The chosen music was from Handel’s Messiah, The Hallelujah Chorus – in a mall somewhere seemingly begun by God Himself working in the hearts of mall shoppers to spread the Word and the joy of the season. At least that’s the way Mom and I wanted it to be.
The second time I watched I noticed all the singers had little round badges on their shirts. And good strong voices. Hey! Was this thing orchestrated by someone other than God??
Sure it was and I’ve gotten over that shock. Silly me. But when Linda posted her link the other day and I watched yet another “mob” I saw with different eyes. The beautiful blond who stood up from her little round table by the escalator to begin the singing was not my focus this time. Nope. As the camera panned I saw a young woman pull out her cell phone to snap a picture. I saw a large black man stand up and begin to sing even though it was obvious he didn’t know all the words. His participation was not scripted.
I saw teens stop and hang over the side of the upper level wall, grinning. Many other busy, harried shoppers turned from their conversations or store windows to smile. More began to sing and most of them knew the words to Go Tell it on The Mountain. A little chill went up my spine.
As the clip wound down, I felt a sense of wonder and hope. Because with all the bad news that’s been out there lately, the awful stuff, even with that; the news of Christmas, the tell it everywhere good news, is still in the hearts of lots and lots of people. As though they really do know what this celebration is all about. They’re out there in the malls singing about it. On the spur of the moment, orchestrated by – God?
And then I thought briefly of the breakfast at Denny’s with my husband after we dropped my sisters at the airport a few weeks ago. Over the waitress’s voice, the rustling of menus and the clank of forks on plates, there came the gentle strains of O Holy Night. Quietly. Unobtrusively. But there, right smack in the middle of everybody’s breakfast at Denny's out there on Wolf Road. Amazing.
So I’m going to clean like a crazy woman for the twenty one people coming for Christmas dinner. I’m going to wrap and bake and decorate. I’m going to fuss, just like you are. And even though no flash mob will likely appear in my kitchen to boost me up. Still. I know He’s out there, waiting. For heads to turn and hearts to calm so the real meaning of it all can seep in.
Maybe I’ll even flash someone in the grocery store later today, too, all by myself. What do you think of Joy to the World?
Image: Free Digital Photos