So I arrived in Thailand 2 days ago after a long and dusty bus trip from Cambodia. One thing I found a bit strange was that everywhere I looked there were men wearing pink shirts. Maybe its a cultural thing I thought – thai men are more relaxed about these things. But I’m staying with a friend who lives here, and it turns out there is an explanation. The King of Thailand is much loved and revered in the country – he is the longest serving monarch in the world, even beating our good old queen Bess back in England. In thailand its a crime to step on a coin or a note someone has dropped because it has an image of the King on it. The King will be 80 on Wednesday but recently he has had some health problems and spent some time in hospital. His royal astrologers told him that upon leaving hospital he should wear pink as it was a good colour to restore his health. Hence when he left hospital a few weeks ago he wore a nice pink shirt and pink jacket. Since then Thais have been going mad to get there hands on pink shirts. One local company has sold 40,000 shirts in the last week and cant make them fast enough.
In my evangelical days I’m sure I could have come up with a great analogy about how we should all emulate the KIng but those days are gone. I’m just loving being in such a different culture and seeing how life is here in South East Asia. And I believe God has a sense of humour and a sense of fun – I believe he enjoys the fact that thousands of people are wearing pink shirts. Maybe we can learn from that.
Pax Christe Tecum