Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sensory Overload

Sensory overload. That's perhaps the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Bangkok. As a battering ram is to a fortress, so are the sights, sounds and smells of Bangkok to the senses. No subtlety exists. Only extremes on the sensory spectrum.

The pungent odors of street vendors lining every available space.
The gut-wrenching sight of barely-clad beggars with missing limbs and facial features distorted from leprosy, accidents and birth defects.
The acrid smell of pollution-filled skies and resulting sting to the throat and eyes.

The shrines of other gods and the devotion of the masses to their icons.
The shrill whistle of traffic directors and incessant honking of impatient drivers in every conceivable form of transportation.

The saffron gowns of monks among the throngs.

Stifling heat emanating off asphalt roads and wall-to-wall sky-scrapers blocking any possible breeze.

Touching bodies pushing and weaving in an attempt to navigate congested streets.

Terror at the thought of losing a child in the swarm.

The indescribable but inescapable smell of poorly managed sewage.

The ever-present signs of the magnitude and tragedy of the sex-trade industry.

The obvious fact that Jesus is not the God of Thailand.
Sadness that I cannot speak their language to share His love.
Admiration for those who work throughout Asia with unimaginable challenges and little "to show" for their labor of love.
The gravity of the thoughts of what my life could have been like had I been born in Thailand.

The awe I feel that amongst the millions of people on this planet, Jesus called me.

My passionate desire that everyone could know the peace and love found in Jesus' arms.


Anonymous said...

You described it EXACTLY how I remember it! All the pictures flooded me with memories of my trip in 1990. The sights, sounds, smells (oh the smells), etc are depicted well in your blog!

It is so heart breaking to see them follow after other god's. The Christians that are there, have often been rejected by their families for turning to Jesus.

Lord, we ask that you would reveal yourself to the Thai people and encourage and uplift those who are there to share the good news of Jesus and that the message would be received. Strengthen your church in Thailand Lord.....the less than 1% of population. Build them up in You Lord! In Jesus name!

Thanks for sharing your experience! Debbie Lewis

Jen said...

I've seen most of what your pictures showed on my trip through. I absolutely loved Thailand, esp. my experiences in Bangkok and down south. I was supposed to move there but God brought me to Guam instead. I believe that I've left a huge part of my heart there and one day I'll be able to go back.