So today I ate dinner at the Thai place. I noticed some things at the Thai Place that I had never noticed before. A Vietnamese friend of mine works there, well actually that is where I met her, and I am friends with the owner. I noticed today, however, Lee (my Vietnamese friend) waiing to a small statue I never even saw before. I mean it has had to have been there for a while. It is not like they put new decorations in every day. The people that work at this restaurant are people I have come to know and cherish deeply. I know they feel the same about me (teaching me Thai and taking 10% off my bill whenever I come in). This act, however took me back to the spirit houses (that “house” the displaced spirits) I would walk past in Thailand that the Thai people would wai to in respect, and the monks in orange who became my friends. I was also reminded of the temples I went in with my friend Lara. I would see people putting golden leaves on these statues of Buddha for merit in the next life. I can still smell the incense they’d burn, and see the lotuses they were holding. Countless people walking into these centers of worship every day, these are people whom I love. I am taken back to the Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma, a hub of Buddhist worship. This is the golden center of a rundown city. I see people kneeling in front of the Buddha statues. It is one thing to be taken in by such beautiful buildings as a tourist; however, I am no tourist. What I see is artificial beauty masking a dark truth. There are people who are still out there who have yet to hear the good news. Salvation does not have to be earned, it can’t be. People without this truth going on with their day to day lives thinking “salvation” (I use this term very loosely) must be earned. These are what you would say are “good” people too.
We are TEMPLES of God. Now I am not saying imbed your chest with a cross and have people kneel at your feet. What I am saying is that inside of us there ought to be two things. First something in our life that points to the God we serve, and second a heart that is constantly worshipping God in Spirit and in truth. Each man is a temple to that which he worships. What I mean is the god, ideals, entity, morals, etc. one serves will show. How much it pains me to see us Christians pointing people away from God because we have constructed a temple to self within us.