During my last trip to East Asia, I had the opportunity to visit a new city, one that was far removed from the bustle of the mega-city I was used to. As I was walking around, I came upon a couple of temples, one Buddhist and one Hindu. The experience was bittersweet. I loved being around the architecture and the history of the temples. The carvings were ornate. The colors were vivid.
The feeling was ominous.
As a believer in a living God, I was left speechless as I watched person after person bow down before inanimate objects and shiny statues. Visitors would bring apples to place at the statue’s feet. What’s a Buddha statue going to do with your fruit? Christ was the final sacrifice. No more sacrificial offerings are needed.
My heart broke for the elderly woman who could hardly walk. She spent all the energy she had spinning prayer wheels as she labored around the temple. Her hope was that she would build up favor by spinning these around and around. Buddhists believe that spinning the prayer wheels can have just as much effect as reciting the actual prayers.
Christ is alive! God wants us to talk to him. I couldn’t have a relationship with a God who would accept me spinning my Bible round and round in the same as actually having a prayer-filled conversation with him.
I was teared up and humbled as I looked down at the prayer mats. They were worn, stained and molded to the knees of thousands of people. I have nothing in my home that is so worn because I was on my knees in front of God. What a convicting moment.
I hope you enjoy the following photo essay. They capture beautiful buildings and some emotion, but that is all. They do not capture hope. That can only be found in Christ alone.