The season has changed, the rains have stopped, and the views of the mountains have been spectacular. The daytime temperatures in the sun are still quite warm, but the evenings are getting chilly. Even though we miss the autumn season in Ohio, this season in Nepal is one of the nicest.
During this time from the end of monsoon into this cooler season, there are multiple holidays celebrated by the followers of the Hindu religion. The festival that just ended is called Tihar – also known as Deepawali. We went out walking on the night of Laxmi Puja. Laxmi is considered to be the goddess of wealth and prosperity. On the evening/night of Laxmi puja (worship of Laxmi) everyone who wants to have more riches and prosperity lights the way into their home so that Laxmi will not pass them by. People also make colorful designs in front of their homes and businesses and small footprints leading into the house so that Laxmi will feel welcomed and be able to find her way in to bless them. There is much singing and dancing, and also eating of special kinds of treats made only at this time of year.
As we walked through the streets brightly lit by the candles, sparklers, and lights, I was musing about the difference between Laxmi and Jesus. Once a year, people here spend much time, money and energy preparing their homes for Laxmi puja. Their goal – to gain the attention of this goddess, Laxmi, in hopes of having a more prosperous and easy life. “Notice me! Make me rich! Pay attention!”
On the other hand, we have a savior named Jesus who stands at the doors of our hearts – whether we have prepared, hung lights, or called to Him. He comes searching for us – to give us the most precious gift of all – forgiveness of our sins because of His great love for us. And an offer of a relationship with the God who created the universe, but who wants to be part of our lives. Amazing!
Let’s notice Him! And may our lives here continue to shine His light into the dark places of the world.