The other day we took a break from the chaos of Bangkok in one of the city’s beautiful parks. While sitting on a park bench listening to the birds chirp and the squirrels chatter, the tranquil of the park seemed to speak deeply to me, though at the time I wasn’t sure why.
The park was built on the site of a century-old city prison and bits of the old architecture remain.
It strikes me as odd that a place so beautiful was once a place which held captives and prisoners and was a place of torment.
It makes me think of one of my favorite passages, Isaiah 61:1-4:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
This park makes me think of what I feel the Lord’s desire for this city is. He wants to heal the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom to the captives, open (or in this case, demolish) the prison for those who are bound, and proclaim his favor to this city. He desires to comfort all who mourn and give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy where there has been mourning and give a garment of praise to those who have been heavy laden. He desires to establish his dear ones as trees of righteousness. And then, these ones who have been broken will rebuild the ancient ruins, even those places that have been left desolate for generations. May it be so. Even on earth as it is in heaven.