What follows are the thoughts of my son. When he read these to me last night I thought I just had to share them…So with his permission…
Today I ate dinner at the Thai place. I noticed some things I had never given thought to 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 know the statue has been there for a while. It is not like they put new decorations in every day.
The people who 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). My friend’s act, however took me back to the spirit houses (that “house” the displaced spirits) I would walk past in Thailand. It reminded me of the monks in orange who became my friends. I was reminded of the temples I went into with my friend Lara. I would see people putting golden leaves on the statues of Buddha for merit in the next life. I can still smell the incense they’d burn, and see the lotuses they held. Countless people walk into these centers of worship every day, these are people whom I love. Right now 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. It is one thing to be taken in by such beautiful buildings as a tourist. However, I am no tourist. I see 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 go on with their day-to-day lives thinking “salvation” (I use this term very loosely) must be earned. These are what you would call “good” people.
I don’t just speak this only about Buddhists. You can apply my words to Muslims, Wiccans, and Atheists. I speak out of my own personal journeys and adventures. How many people do we see a day? How many do we close our eyes to? It is a tragedy that because we lack love our churches are shrinking. Show me a church that loves (God, brothers, and man) I will show you one that grows.
I have often wondered what is more important, loving people, or being a witness to them. We must do both, and not witness because it is our duty, but witness because we love.
We are all TEMPLES of the Holy Spirit. I am not saying you should 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, second a heart that is constantly worshiping God in Spirit and in truth. Each man is a temple to that which he worships: god, ideals, entity, morals, etc. What we serve will show. How much it pains me to see Christians pointing people away from God because we have constructed a temple to self within us.