There are some things you never expect to see. Have you seen people carrying archery arrows while riding the train? In Tokyo over the years, I have often seen people traveling with beautifully decorated arrows poking out of their bag. The white feathers, red ribbons, and bells seem entirely out of place in a modern train. They surprised me. Prior to coming to Japan, I had only seen arrows in Hollywood movies where they were shot at people on the trains! However, these arrows, hamaya, are not shot from a bow at a target, but rather purchased at the local shrine with the purpose of repelling evil spirits and protecting one’s family from harm.
I wonder if these arrows are from the evil one himself. They deceive and keep multitudes in darkness, giving them a false sense of security and hope. This keeps them from seeking the God of all creation who is the only one with the power to do what they hope for.
Every time I see these arrows, my heart becomes heavy. I’m reminded that the people of Japan need to know true freedom from the fear of evil spirits. That freedom can only be found in Jesus, of whom most have never heard. These arrows are a reminder that the harvest is plentiful in Japan but the workers are few. They are reminders to me of why God calls his people to take his message of true hope and security to the ends of the earth.
By Tim, an OMF missionary
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray that the power of the evil one will be broken in many hearts.
- Pray that they will seek true freedom and protection in Jesus.
- Pray for more workers to come to Japan.