We traveled a lot last summer and in one of the hotels, I was surprised to open the nightstand and discover a strange book along side the Gideon Bible. I had never seen a Bhagavad Gita before and when Googled, discovered it is one of the Hindu books of scripture. My initial response, as a follower of Jesus, was extreme sadness for the one who placed it there. Living in Cambodia where the people predominately follow Buddha and Hindu practices, I’ve discovered that Buddhism as well as Hinduism, are not only predominate religions of southern Asia, but are part of the cultural fabric in which they live…a way of life that has been passed down for centuries. So I grieved the soul who placed a book of man’s words next to a book of God’s words.
Upon reflection, my grief upon seeing these two books side by side has surprisingly been replaced with something else…hope. Because in America, where zeal for one’s different beliefs promotes discussion, a chance for the name of Jesus to be spoken out loud just might present itself. A seed just might be planted. An example just might be set. Someone just might seek God and if she does, she WILL find. (a promise from Jesus) These opportunities are not always available in Asia. There are no Bibles in hotel nightstands there.
So, may the one who placed the Bhagavad Gita next to the Bible become curious. May she pick it up and wonder if there is more to life than endless reincarnations. May curiosity overcome fear. May a stiff, unused Bible from a hotel room drawer become her best friend as the living words lead her to Jesus.
When there is a Bible, there’s always hope. I’m betting that is why the Gideon Society place a Bible in every hotel room to begin with.
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