From a worker in Asia
I had an interesting experience this week. I went out to get vegetables and was greeted by the sight of about forty men sitting and standing around a dead body. This was quite unexpected. Usually the sound of women wailing alerts us long before anyone gathers for a wake, but we had not heard anything. Rather awkwardly, I managed to exit the building and returned some time later with my produce.
While I was still far away, a lady came quickly towards me saying, “I came to tell you, there is a wake at your house, and they haven’t yet buried the body, so don’t bring your veggies home.” I stared blankly. She repeated her message, adding, “Your veggies will go bad!” While I digested this information she saw my look and asked, “You don’t believe they will go bad, do you?”
Recovering, I answered, “No, I don’t. But thank you for telling me. I know you told me because you are concerned for me.”
“Yes, I am,” she replied. “I don’t want you to have spent all that money and then have your produce spoil.”
“Thank you,” I repeated, then added, (at His prompting), “We believe that the Highest Spirit is stronger than, and has conquered, death. He keeps us safe, and because of His strength I believe the veggies will not go bad.” And they didn’t!
Another time when I was at a shop buying a gift for a little friend, the girl who advised me on my purchase asked me to pray for the shop. My first impulse was to agree—after all, I have been asked to pray for many people, why not for a shop? But something checked me, and I didn’t pray. At the same moment the shop assistant told the girl helping me that praying wasn’t appropriate. The girl asked why. I don’t know what the assistant said to her, but I found myself saying that the Highest God is our Father, that He loves us, and we love Him. We talk to him from our hearts and minds, and our talk with Him is precious. We don’t just ask Him for good luck.
“Oh, I see,” the girl responded. “You only ask for things after you do worship rituals.”
“Well, no, we can ask Him for things we need, like asking a father, but we shouldn’t just be beggars.”
Maybe they had something to think about, and maybe I do, too.