How can a single day be both a day of Thanksgiving and a day of Mourning? It seems to be a contradiction of major proportions, and yet it has happened today. I've been reminded in different ways, that for my American friends today is Thanksgiving Day, and I hope that they have been able to be truly thankful for the many, many good things God has given us all. While some have reservations about this day, I personally think that it is a great idea to have a day that is dedicated to giving thanks. I'm not sure it needs all the food, and other stuff that goes with it, but I guess that's part of the fun. Having said that, shouldn't every day be Thanksgiving Day? I'm thankful that I woke up this morning! Thankful for a bed to sleep in. For air-conditioning to facilitate sleep. Thankful for food to eat, clean water to drink, clothes to wear, a home to come back to at the end of each day, internet, friends, family, and most of all a living God, who cares about me, whom I can have a personal relationship with.
I need to remember too that He is a holy and righteous God, and nothing that happens in this world is missed by Him. He knows what happened here in Cambodia on Monday night. He knows about the miners in New Zealand and their families. He knows about the conflict between North & South Korea. He knows about little Calvin Dedert and the sufferings of that baby boy, and how hard it is for his parents to see him suffering. Yes, He knows all things, but He wants us to tell Him about them. He might already know how we feel, but He wants us to tell Him. He want us to tell him about the injustices of this world, exactly as we see them. He may not change this, but don't doubt for a minute that He hears you, and He cares.
Today was officially a Day of Mourning here in Cambodia. On the surface it seemed as if life was just going on as usual, but it wasn't quite. Yes, many businesses were open as usual, and we had school as usual, but all around the city the flags were flying at half mast. On major holidays here in Phnom Penh households and businesses are expected to fly the Cambodian flag. Many mini flagpoles are installed in specially drilled holes on the pavements, then removed when the holiday is over. Today those flags were all flying, but at half mast. Our school flag has been at half mast since Wednesday morning (at least), and this morning we observed a minute's silence before separating to our classrooms to start the day's work. Government offices were all closed. Continue to pray for the people of Cambodia. Pray especially for those who were caught on the bridge and survived. Trauma counselling and Critical Incident debriefing are not easily obtained in this country, and yet there are going to be many young people who will suffer unseen effects for many days, weeks, and even years to come. Pray for their families, that they will know the best ways to help them. Pray for those who are able to provide those services, that they will not be burned out.
As I finish writing, this post, it is with the hope that I can move on from here and focus again on positive things, and with the knowledge that God is good, all the time! Who He is does not change, although the circumstances around us do. Give it all to Him, and give Him the glory and praise and thanksgiving that is also due to Him.