• January 27, 2015

Our King’s cave:
finding beauty in a Thai slum

by Naomi Beauclair, on mis­sion in Thailand

“Earlier in December Thailand cel­e­brated the king’s birthday with much rev­er­ence and pride. Understanding the sig­nif­i­cance of a king to his people, I real­ized the rad­ical sub­mis­sion nec­es­sary for three orient men to adore a babe and the even greater risk of the three kings to follow a glit­tering royal light to a cave to lit­er­ally pros­trate before a simple, inca­pable, unknown God-Hero.

Beauty is born in our little neigh­bor­hood cave, too. On the 24th we had Grandmas and Cakes at our house. Meh Sumalee hadn’t arrived at the begin­ning time for the party, so I went to see if she was at home and had for­gotten about the invi­ta­tion. I was walking down our soi and I saw her turn, strolling toward our house. Meh Sumalee was a nurse for many years and can speak English very well. She is almost 70, never mar­ried and lives alone. She joy­fully said, “I’m not going to your house, yet. I have to clean the wound for Yai first. I go every day about the same time. Why don’t you come with me? Do you know this Yai?” In fact I had never met this grand­mother before nor met anyone living in the house. I was sur­prised and touched to see Meh Sumalee in our neighbor’s house offering her skills and caring for this very old woman.

In the evening on December 31st Meh and I were walking together to our house. As we passed Yai’s house Meh explained that Yai’s wound was sig­nif­i­cantly healed. The doctor didn’t know that Meh had faith­fully changed the ban­dages, and I wouldn’t have either if she had not remained faithful on Christmas eve.

To me, her hidden charity for a grand­mother unknown to me in a little house on our soi shows me where Beauty is born. The house of Beauty is the house of those unknown; the house of Beauty is the cave of our hearts. The King’s palace is in the simple street where I live, behind the door I never notice, within the neighbor I never see, in the corners of my family’s hearts; every place a heart can reside there is the cave of his birth. His love trans­forms the stones of our caves into one grand palace of gems, a refuge wherein Light and Beauty cannot be cap­tive, and the King can dwell among us in peace. Like the wise men from the east, let us search for and adore Beauty before us who is crying to be found.”

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