At the end of a warm day, I sit on my bed, hot, tired and restless, still not feeling the best from a 3 day bout of either food poisoning or flu. Too tired to continue the letter I am composing, I toss it away and switch off the light, dozing off and on for about an hour.
I awake, feeling discontented, disgruntled and disoriented and with one underlying thought- I need to get out of my house. Somehow its walls seem confining, and my restless brain and body yearn for something else, yet I’m not sure what.
The question is, where? I didn’t need any food supplies and in this mood, I am certainly not prepared to go into Big C’s WalMart atmosphere, I’m not hungry for supper, and I have no errands to run.
I don’t have any place to go, but my one driving thought is, “go.”
So I go, go, go, riding my motorbike down the small street, letting the cool night wind caress my warm face, praying as I go, wishing the bike beneath me would be a flesh and blood horse.
God, where should I go? Why am I doing this? Where am I going?
Around curves and corners, take a left here and a right there. Draw a deep breath. Inhale the sweet greenness of a rice field. Lean into a curve to the right. Slow down to gaze in awe at a thousand glimmering lights. Turn around and head back this street. Take a left and see what’s down here.
I am relaxing. Slowly but surely, the night is doing its work.
And then I turn the corner and see it. In front of a small building, a sign with large English letters:
“God loves you.”
It’s like a drink of cold water on a Kansas harvest day. Deep inside I want to stop at the little Thai church with music spilling out of its doors, but I keep on driving, wanting more.
I drive down a dimly lit street. It turns out to be a one way street, and at the end of it a howling fury of dog comes hurtling out of the gate. It’s been a long time since my hair stood up on end like that and with the nightmarish rapidity of a sluggish turtle, I finally manage to turn my bike around on the narrow alley and flee with a prayer of thankfulness on my lips.
I keep on, always planning to turn around at the next corner and return home. But I keep on going and going and going. I drive past dimly lit houses and shops that are closed for the night. I stop at a stoplight and listen to the friendly banter of two men on motorbikes. I follow some tuks tuks laden with tourists into some more winding streets and then turn around. Suddenly a thought hits me as I glance at the people and the bikes all around me.
All of them are going somewhere. All of them are doing something. Going home to their family. Spending time with friends.
And then I realize why I am driving out on my bike and what I am looking for.
Without realizing it, I am looking for home.
I have friends here, I have a God family here, I have people to connect with here on this side of the world, but there always seems to be some sort of a loneliness that accompanies everything I do. Many times I relish it, this loneliness and disconnected feeling that drives me closer to my real home in heaven, drives me closer to the Father of fathers that I know is watching out for me.
But sometimes it can be overwhelming. Like tonight. And I realize why my hungry senses breathed in the lushness of the rice field. I realize why I stopped and gazed thirstily at the sign that said, “God loves you!” I realize why the flickering lights lured me and why the friendly conversation between the two men on bikes grabbed my attention. There was something about home in each one, not just my earthly home, but my real one as well. I can’t explain exactly what, but as I realize that, something clicks for me.
I turn left at the next stoplight and head home, exhausted, but relaxed.
Thank you, God.