Honey (I’ve written about her several times) has a younger cousin getting married soon. The family is getting ready for the occasion but the excitement also got Grandmother thinking.
“Why aren’t you married yet?” she asked Honey, who is over thirty and considered old now. Honey’s had boyfriends in the past, but nothing ever came of them. She loses interest, seemingly accepting her single status. “Maybe someone has put a curse on you so that you won’t ever be able to find someone to be happy with,” was Grandmother’s response.
Grandmother is a ‘special person’, meaning she has a close relation with the spiritual world. Let’s be plain: she’s a witch doctor. Using this knowledge and power, grandmother decided she’d “help” Honey get rid of the perceived curse. In much of Buddhism, just a short ceremony can ‘cure’ a problem.
Honey lay on the floor and Grandmother placed four chicken eggs on her body is various places. Next, a candle was lit. Grandmother prayed over Honey; then put the candle in her mouth to extinguish the flame. The belief is that the eggs in the ceremony take away the curse. To see the results, the eggs were cracked to reveal dark spots in two of the eggs while the other two were smelly and rotten.
As Honey recalled the experience, she emphasized that she wasn’t completely sure she believed the curse or the ceremony; skepticism was written on her face as I asked her questions about what it all meant.
I’m thankful she’s skeptical as are so many younger generation Buddhists. They’ve been taught traditions which have been followed by their family for hundreds of years. Traditional ceremonies abound: releasing birds or fish, praying over banana leaf boxes and more are all things this generation has been taught will save them. Respect and honor within the family unit is one of the deepest core values, so, coupled with the concept that all religions are right, Honey and other young Buddhists take part in the ceremonies without having to decide if it’s real, right or true.
Pray for Honey. Pray that she’ll evaluate the things she knows about her family’s religion and what she’s learned and experienced with God. We’re praying that she’ll take the next step to seek God as the One and Only God, the One who is the Great Matchmaker and Personal Savior.
Just in case you think this only happens on the other side of the world, be assured this isn’t so far away from your own culture. Grandmother actually lives in Idaho and will be going home soon. Pray for your neighbors, that whether they are witch doctors or Christians, they will seek God more deeply.