My first experience after arriving in Bangkok was the taxi driver who was taking me from the airport to my hotel, at 1 AM, after having been in an airplane for 24 hours. He got us lost. We wandered through the dark and narrow one-way streets of Bangkok, circling around and around, looking for my hotel. It is supposed to be a large, well-known American hotel chain. How could he not find it? “It must be on a main road,” I said. “I’m sure there is a large entrance sign leading up to it…”, my voice trailing off as I look around at the streets that appear to be nowhere close to where we should be. That was my first cultural surprise. I was expecting large American style.
The taxi drove by the same obscure street at least four times. I remember it well because I saw a Christmas tree in the window of a café every time we passed by. How strange, I thought. It’s early November, and in a city full of Buddha statues on every corner, here is this lone Christmas tree in the window, which seemed to shine off a light so I could see the silver garland appearing through the dark, unlit window.
When in distress, look for Hope.
In the dark, look for Hope.
Hope wins over fear.
Hope wins over evil.
Hope wins over despair.
Hope is Faith of better things to come.
Hope brings Peace.
Hope is Jesus Christ.
The taxi driver eventually found the hotel. How did he find it? He changed his view. He got out of the taxi and looked up into the sky so he could see the hotel towers rising above the dark buildings that were surrounding us.
This picture is not that same Christmas tree or hotel, but it is one I saw outside the window of my office building when I arrived back home. In this old hotel converted to apartments, one window stood out with a Christmas tree in it, in early November. It reminded me again to always look for Hope. Do you see it?