I was being a good son this evening. My mother needed help replacing an air conditioning window unit in her bedroom, so I had been up at her house on the mountain. On the way back I stopped by a gas station to keep from having to walk home.
Honestly, I don’t think anything was wrong with the sign; all the lights worked perfectly. There must have been something the owner of the store was trying to say.
What could it mean? What is Mr. Patel trying to say? This might be a good time to break out my old hermeneutics text book. Or, on the other hand, I could forget the obvious possibilities and think of some more unusual possibilities.
What is meant by “Wel Come“? Here are some ideas.
- The “L” is missing. In reality, the store owner wanted some privacy to enjoy his collection of beer and nachos, but patrons insisted on wanting to buy things. Therefore, out of frustration, he gave in to their demands to enter and put up a sign meant to say, “Well, just come in, if you insist.”
- Mr. Patel is praying for a well so that he can keep from buying fuel from the Saudis.
- It could be an attempt to tell passersby to comb their hair.
- Maybe it is a Hindu prayer for health?
All I know is that despite the spelling differences, and despite the context, the sign in the window could not mean what we think it means – that’s too obvious. Surely it does not simply mean, welcome.
This reminds me of verses of scripture that are so obvious, yet people refuse to accept them at face value. They claim textual variances, human writers, and all sorts of things as reasons the Bible could not mean what it says. For example, many people, even so-called Christians, have read “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6) and come to the conclusion that it has to mean something, but NOT that Jesus is the “only way.”
Many atheists look at the obvious “design” of the universe and come to the conclusion that even though it looks like a finely-tuned machine, there can’t be a Designer. They come up with every possible solution to the question of origins, no matter how remote, in order to discount the obvious. They say, “Show me the evidence,” then attempt to discredit any given to them.
The most logical meaning of the sign in the window, based on every other sign in windows I have seen in my lifetime, is that the store owner was saying, “Welcome!” He may have misaspelicated, but the meaning was obvious.
Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29 ESV). What’s so hard to understand?
You are WELCOME.