I decided to take a walk one day and see what was ten minutes from home… Or I guess maybe I should say, I was walking ten minutes one day before I found a songthaew that was going where I needed to go. But either way you look at it…
Ten minutes from home there is a spirit house with a cool table in front of it for all the taxi drivers to play checkers on. Spirit houses are everywhere. They usually have offerings on them and sometimes I have to be careful when I walk by them so as to not get a bee in my eye as they are drawn to the sweet red sodas the Thai offer the spirits.
There’s also some graffiti… don’t ask me why it’s in English. I’m not sure. Graffiti is everywhere here. I rarely see it in Thai. I’m not sure if it’s legal here or not, but I like it.
Ten minutes from home there is currently a carnival. It wasn’t there a couple of months ago. During the day it’s quiet. At night all the lights come on and kids come to play. There’s also a lot of vendors and such further back. I haven’t wandered back to see what all is there. Maybe someday.
As I was waiting for these pictures to load, I started thinking about how each of these things represent something that is important here. The spirit houses represent a very large part of the belief system of the Thai people. Spirit houses literally are everywhere and even where there aren’t spirit houses, red Fanta and smoking red incense sticks can be found as an offering to the spirits.
The graffiti to me represents a quest for family. So many here are searching and it’s common to hear people refer to individuals who aren’t their blood family as their “mom” or “brother” or “sister”. While gangs seek to find that family among each other, the individuals I see day in and day out are seeking family that will not let them down and will be there for each other.
The carnival represents the Thai’s love of “sanook” or fun. To me it speaks of the desire to be fascinated that God put inside each one of us with the intent that He be the one to fascinate us.
In each of these things, only ten minutes from home, I see the cry God put in humanity for himself. A cry to be freed from the weight of sin. A cry to be a part of something greater than ourselves. A cry to be a part of the family of God, A cry to be fascinated. A cry to return to our eternal home, in His arms.