The photos do not capture the chaos of the streets in Ho Chi Minh City – sometimes still called Saigon. The teeming of thousands upon thousands of scooter riders. They skilfully weave in and out of any place possible. They take traffic lights to be recommendations only. Red lights can be gone through. If you don’t go directly through a red light you can jump your scooter onto the pavement and go around the red light. No problem. One way streets are recommendations only too! Pedestrian crossings are everywhere but people don’t stop for you. You confidently and deliberately cross there and the traffic will skillfully navigate around – well so far anyway.
Went to Ben Thanh markets. Clothing, tropical fruit, food of all description, electrical items. Woman tried to sell us a T-shirt. She started at 320,000 dong (about Au$20). But we had seen one, pretty much the same for 55,000 dong. We told her that so she dropped the price to 60,000 then 55,000. We weren’t happy with the tactics so we walked away – she called us liars! Not sure what we had lied about. Went to the other stall and bought T-shirt for 55,000. Marked price, no haggling.
Sat and had coffee and brunch – watching the world go by (steamed rice, salad and a chilli/veg dressing plus honey braised pork) was the same price as the coffee – about $2.75 @. And they were good.
We got soaked to our undies coming home – but all good. Skin is waterproof.
Many people know that love for the Greeks had at least 4 meanings. These are:
Eros – romantic or sexual love. But the Greeks didn’t always think of it as being positive, as we do today, as it was viewed as fiery and involved a loss of control. Yet we hope to “fall madly in love”.
Philia – brotherly love or friendship. To the Greeks it spoke of loyalty or comradeship.
Storge – especially of parents and children. This is a natural empathy, maybe also the feeling for ones country or favourite sports team.
Agape – the highest form of love, God’s love for us. This is selfless love – we can do nothing to earn this, sometimes known as “gift love”. It is unconditional love.
If you want to read more have a look at: More on Greek words for love.
Interesting to reflect that we most often use the heart as a symbol of love – which we connect to our source of emotions and connection.
But to my revelation about love. How many times have we read “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”? We know that this is true, but why? We can say that God is love so that makes it true. Yes. But I got to thinking when we die what will remain for us? Faith? No, we will not need faith anymore as it is the “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. We will have certainty then.
Hope? No, we will not have to hope anymore. Again, we will have certainty.
Love? Yes, yes, yes! Love will remain. No prizes for knowing that the love talked about in “But the greatest of these is love” is agape love.
It seems that the world is imploding. Famine in East Africa, war in Syria and Afghanistan, millions of refugees in crisis, violence in our cities, natural disasters a normal occurrence and I could go on.
What on earth makes this a Good Friday? Only that God did not want heaven without you. So He brought heaven to earth. He made a way for you and me to be with Him now and forever in heaven. And it’s not based on how good we are – I’m so thankful for that. It’s based on how good He is. That we believe that He could do it – and has done it. Once and for all. Jesus did it all.
Have a Good Friday.