Sometimes as I travel home late at night on my motorbike I feel a sense of camaraderie with those other late night travelers as we stop at a stoplight, waiting for the warmth of the green signal again and then shooting off again in the night, going for home, wherever it is. Sometimes I feel lonely as I round the curve under the glare of the streetlight with no other vehicle in sight. Sometimes I feel exhilarated with the speed and the wind on my face and the deep night sky in the few places stars are visible.
But usually its sadness, the inexplicable burden that rises in the darkness of a half sleeping city and hovers over my soul as I sweep along the snaking three lane highway at night. Sadness, that grips and coils like the tentacles of a giant octopus with no explanation for its heaviness. Sadness, with no story to foretell its coming and no voice behind its burden. Just sadness. It clings over my soul like the smog clings to the city in the daytime. A sense of melancholy, but more an ache.
Sometimes sadness brings a song, a dirge. This has nothing of the sort. This is only a cloud hanging over my soul, caught from the winds blowing from the heart of the city, the true heart. It is the cloud that collects the dust of unbelief, the ashes of hope burned unrestored, and the fog of fear from a world caught in senseless cycle of animism and materialism.
Man cannot drive it away. No amount of positive thinking or meditation or even goodness will cleanse this smog of sadness without the cleansing rain of the Maker of Hope.
It creeps around my soul. I lift my eyes to the sky, let the tears fall and cry out for those who, too, have become my people and whose storyless sadness numbs my own soul. These tears become the medium and the voice for the sadness of these people whose sin has burned into existence this cloud. The cry echoes out of the emptying streets of sleeping Chiang Mai, swirls above the hundreds of exquisite and grotesque temples, circles the mountains and the high places where thousands worship each day, and climbs, climbs, climbs the heavens to the very throne of God.
And at the right hand of the throne, stands One who intercedes for those whose sadness has finally been given voice. Even if only through tears.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26