While in Boudha we visited the famous Buddhist stupa. It’s a white structure several stories tall, topped by a four-sided tower with a set of eyes painted on each side. Prayer flags supposedly send prayers heavenward so long as the breeze keeps them flapping. This afternoon people of all ages and from many nationalities were walking around it, putting their arms through slots in the wall to give the enclosed prayer wheels a spin. Several Tibetan women on the next level above were paying homage to Buddha, too. They’d covered their hands with a type of cymbal which they clapped together before prostrating themselves face down on the concrete floor. Then they stood, took a sideways step, and repeated the process.
I surveyed the scene from a restaurant window above and the song “People Need the Lord” came to mind. These folks are on a spiritual quest to fill their heart’s God-shaped vacuum. Sadly, some have never heard of Jesus, the one who died to give them the free gift of salvation. Others have heard the Good News of salvation but refuse to admit their sinfulness and need of a Savior. They’d rather try to earn salvation through good works and religious deeds. “God, shine Your light into this needy land and dispel the darkness.”