(the first of many posts on my recent escapades around SouthEast Asia)
I just returned from the wonderful opportunity of traveling around Thailand and Cambodia with one of my best friends. It was an incredible experience: standing in awe of breathtaking nature, savoring unique and tantalizing flavors, being adventurous and crazy... However, mingling with my fascination and wonder was burden and heartache.
The sights of SouthEast Asia revolve around its vibrant culture-intimately tied to its ancient spirituality. I spent days visiting Buddhist temples and shrines. They are beautiful. Ornate. Overwhleming. Glimmering with mirrors and colored glass. Enrobed in Gold Leaf and lavished with intricate engravings. While I can stand and appreciate the artistry of these places and be intrigued by the diversity of cultures around the world, I could not help but sit in the weight of hopelessness embodied by these gilded buddhas.
I found it difficult to enjoy the grandeur of my surroundings when they represented empty promises and powerlessness. My heart broke as I stood in the midst of people purchasing and offering sacrifices, prostrating themselves and praying. I understand cultural differences and love the diversity of this world- but being in so many places of worship to false gods burdened my soul for the Truth to be known and His power and abundant life experienced across culures and borders.