“You're going on a strange journey this time, my friend. I don't envy you. You'll have a hard time keeping your heart light and simple in the midst of this crowd of madmen.” These words of American naturalist John Muir chilled my heart as I read them this morning. They seem prophetic as I'm preparing to leave on a prayer walking and literature distribution trip through The Killing Fields of Southeast Asia in just a few days.
Muir’s prophecy goes on to say, “instead of the music of the wind among the spruce-tops and the tinkling of waterfalls, your ears will be filled with the oaths and groans of these poor, deluded, self burdened people." Although Pol Pot’s gruesome killing spree ended for these people four decades ago their tragedy continues. They remain trapped in spiritual darkness, crying out to golden gods "who have ears but cannot hear."
But, as I read the closing lines of Muir’s passage I'm reminded that there is hope for our mission and for these people, "… break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain, wash your spirit clean from the earth-stains of this sordid, gold-seeking crowd in God's pure air. It will help you in your efforts to bring these people something better than gold."