The brightly clad row of people moves 15 abreast across the field, their sickles swinging rhythmically through the rice stalks. In other fields, small brightly colored combines drive back and forth leaving stubble in their wake.
As we drive along Thailand’s main highway, the colors of the rice fields have changed from verdant greens to yellow-brown. We notice that some have already been harvested, their abundance bagged and waiting to be unloaded at the mill or spread out to dry on tarps. Thailand’s fields are ready for the harvest.
As we drive, I think about the signs of change among the Thai people as well. Their beloved king, whom they regarded as the “father of the people,” passed away last year, and his ashes now lie in two Buddhist temples. His son, who lived most of his life abroad, now wears the crown. The people do not know this king. He is not their father, at least not yet. The military government that rules the country has promised a return to democracy, but events of recent years indicate his is unlikely. There is deep uncertainty about the future without the stabilizing influence of the former king.
As Christians, we have a Father/King who wants a personal relationship with all people. Christ is the answer to the fears of Thai hearts. He cares deeply about each of them. In my mind I hear the strains of a song: Far and near the fields are gleaming with the sheaves of ripened grain Far and near their gold is gleaming over sunny slope and plain. Lord of Harvest send forth reapers . . .
Is your sickle ready?