My wife and I recently visited IKEA for the first time. A team of counselors continues to treat my post-traumatic stress syndrome. We emerged an eternity later with a cart full of throw pillows. I would have gladly paid a premium to avoid the bargain.
In Swedish, IKEA roughly translates as “Eternal Torment.” An occasional whiff of brimstone underlies the deli’s meatballs. Dante did not list the retailer in his nine circles of hell, but Hades’ entrance can be viewed from there.
The lurid blue and yellow store squats on 16th Street in Atlanta. The massive building purportedly occupies two floors, but it feels much larger. Like Hogwarts, moving staircases constantly rearrange themselves while false-backed wardrobes lead to Narnia. After inadvertently losing my wife, we finally reunited a continent and time zone later.
A full service restaurant provides provisions for lost souls. One child slept soundly under a down comforter in a bedroom display. Other weary souls sprawled on Swedish torture devices marketed as furniture.
It would be hyperbole to compare my afternoon’s trek through IKEA to Israel’s forty years in the wilderness. However, I found myself muttering “I want to go back to Egypt!”
Reflecting on the experience, the retailer and the church share some common attributes. So I’m writing a series of blogs entitled IKEA and the Large Church which will compare and contrast the two institutions.
Next week’s blog is entitled A-maze-ing Grace.