Friday, September 02, 2005

Bumper Sticker Theology

I recently stuck a United Church of Christ bumper sticker on my car. Instead of a Still Speaking sticker, I opted for an older one that reads, 'To Believe is to Care, To Care is to Do.' While I generally like the Still Speaking initiative, I wanted something that felt more 'long term,' for lack of a better description. It would identify me with the UCC rather than a particular movement within the UCC.

Anyway, I went to the grocery store today to pick up a few things. The particular store I regular provides a service where you can have your groceries put in tubs and sent out on a conveyor belt. You're given a tablet with a number that corresponds with the number on the tub. You then drive around to a bay, hand the tablets to the worker, and get your groceries placed in your car. It's like coat check for your cereal and Gatorade.

I pulled up and handed the worker my tablets, requesting that my bags be placed in the front passenger seat. She began putting them in the backseat before coming to herself and switching to the front.

'Sorry,' she said. 'I was thinking about your bumper sticker.'

'That's okay.'

'All those people in New Orleans. We have to help out.'

'Most certainly.' I nodded and smiled.

She finished loading the bags and as she shut the door she said, 'Well, praise the Lord, and have a good day.'

I've never put much stock in bumper stickers as anything other than identification with a worldview. I can't really picture a scenario where someone has been swayed, for instance, to vote for a particular presidential candidate because they saw someone's name on a car, but it at least tells the rest of the country who you're going to vote for. But my sticker had an impact on someone today. It got her thinking. Either that, or it put into words something that she'd been thinking already.

God is still speaking, even through pithy phrases attached to car bumpers. Whodda thunkit.