On my way home from the office this afternoon, I crossed paths with a tall man dressed in black.  As we approached one another, I gave him that casual nod you give to strangers, along with a non-committal “Hello there.”

As I spoke, he greeted me with, and I’m pretty sure I heard this correctly:

“Hello, Great One.”

And we both continued along our opposite directions.  I caught his greeting too late to do anything but grin.

I don’t really know what it means; a brief stroll around Google doesn’t indicate that it’s a stock catchphrase of any group in particular (along the lines of “peace be with you,” my favorite line from Catholic services).  But I liked it.  I love when people break the boundaries of conventional interactions, especially in a heartening way.

To me, that surprise phrase communicates the universal respect expressed by “Thou art God,” but without the theological baggage.  Thanks, stranger.