|via Wishbone Clever|
I came home from the Lotus Lantern parade in Jongno celebrating Buddha's Birthday. I was exhausted from weeks of sleep deprivation, but I had resolved to be in bed by 11:30. I had an hour to get ready when I arrived at my door and realized my key was inside my bedroom. My cell phone had no money on it, and I couldn't call my roommate. She and all my other friends from the neighborhood were all an hour away at a bar, anyway. I was sunk.
I'm not gonna lie, I was in self-pitying despair for about an hour. I tried to get comfortable on my stoop and see if I could hold out for when my roommate got home, but that wasn't working. I used my iTouch and the internet coming from my apartment to text two of my best friends (Caleb in the States and one of my brothers in Seoul). They couldn't fix the problem, of course, but talking with them and not having things fixed gave me new drive to find a solution.
It was then that I remembered that Korea has one of the best things for cheap travelers: the jimjilbang. The Korean bath house offers luxurious pools of different temperatures, showers, skin-sloughing scrubs, saunas, and sleeping mats.
I grabbed some freshly handmade noodle soup from a truck outside before checking myself into the jimjilbang. I changed my shoes and paid the 8,000 won. Bleary eyed but satisfied from dinner, I changed into the set of clothes they gave me: large formless t-shirt and loose cropped cotton pants. I washed my face as best as I could then headed out to the dark common room where people had already curled up for the night.
Laying on my mat with my pillow and using my plaid flannel shirt as a blanket along with the two small towels provided me, I started to relax. I began to pray, as is a nightly ritual for me.
Within seconds of resting there in prayer, I felt washed over with gratitude and with that shy feeling when you understand just how childishly you'd been acting earlier. I began to thank God profusely for providing for me everything I need. He gave me an iTouch to use when I needed people to talk to. He gave me money to buy a filling and tasty dinner. He gave me a cheap and safe place to stay. He even made sure I had my flannel shirt to hold while I slept. (I feel most comfortable when I have something to hold when I sleep.) As I looked back on the last two hours, I wondered at how worried and pouty I had been there on my stoop. I serve ...actually, I am a daughter of the King and Lord of the universe. Of course He would take care of me.
And that's my story.