Bangkok can be hot. For residents and visitors alike, recently it has been unseasonably warm. Even though I am used to Singapore’s weather, walking the streets is like pushing myself into an oven. Initially, you do not realize that it is humid as well, at least until your sweat clings to your clothes and running down your back. Within the fifteen minutes of being outside and you could wring sweat out of my shirt. As one walks day or night, one constantly thinks of where one can find shelter. Cool, dry air is a luxury that becomes an overwhelming need.
Recently I found myself walking with frequent breaks in oasis of cool air. Starbucks are always safe places. Small malls can work. Big ones are perfect! The one challenge is that even in the malls there is enough humidity that one clothes remain thoroughly wet. I found myself walking out into the heat in cold wet clothes. This can work for a time. However, it is never a solution.
As I ducked into the lobby of a hotel to meet an old friend, I found myself in a place I knew I did not want to leave! It was a perfect combination of comfortable chairs, great refreshments, and cool dry air. As we chatted for hours, catching up on old times I found myself refreshed and energized. It was a magical combination. As I went to leave I realized that I had no idea when I arrived just how healing this combination could be. If I could sing I know the words that would be forming on my lips. It would be an adaptation of David’s praise – “How exquisite your love, O God! How eager we are to run under your wings,” (Psalm 36.7)
Life reminds me of how brutal it can be. Death, exploitation, and pain are all around us. We cannot hide from evil. It will impact you and me. Finding refuge is critical. We need safe places to rest and recover. Yesterday a friend came to my rescue; a wonderful, healing experience.