Webcomics Monday: Our Valued Customers and Thought Balloons
I’ve done my time in the front lines of the retail industry. I’ve worked the cash register and answered phone calls. I’m sure it’s a common experience for retail employees to have experienced their fair share of… unusual customers. People who ask for all kinds of crazy, unrelated products. Or just say things that are widely inappropriate for the social situation. I can only begin to imagine how much worse it would be in the kingdom of the nerds. Our Valued Customers is a webcomic created by a comic book shop employee. He takes the things said to him or overheard in the shop and turns them into comics. And these comics are equal parts insightful and disturbing.
The comic that I’d like to discuss fulfills both those criteria. It gives a great insight into our lives. But of course it has a bit of a disturbing feel. And it all has to do with thought balloons in comic books.
If you’re unfamiliar with them, thought balloons are one of the tools of a comic book creator. In the comic above, you have an example of a speech balloon. We can tell these are the words coming out of his mouth because there is a circle drawn around the words with a pointy triangle aimed at his mouth. Thought balloons are a bit different. Instead of a triangle, there is a trail of circles. This shows us what the character is thinking inside their head.
What if people could see our thought balloons? What if everyone could see every thought that wandered through our heads? I don’t know about you, but I’d be ashamed of all the sinful things that would be on display. Thoughts of lust, anger, envy. But because people can’t see my thoughts, I kid myself into thinking that they are hidden and no one knows them but me.
But God can see our thought balloons. Our every thought and deed is on display for him to see. Hebrews 4:13 says “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” God sees those thoughts that you mistakenly believed were locked up tight inside your head. And he will call you to give an account for them. You’ll have to explain yourself. Our every sin will be laid bare before him. And we’ll have no choice to admit that we are unworthy of belonging to God’s Kingdom.
So it’s a good thing that Jesus died in our place. It’s a good thing that Jesus has rescued us from the punishment we deserve. Because there’s no hiding from God’s ability to read our thought balloons.