I look out on the dark Singapore skyline; it is crisp, sparkling, and silent. I stand in front of the window, anticipating the dawn I know will come from the east. I catch myself overwhelmed by the reality of being a long way from home. It is a silence permeating every pore in my body. It refuses all attempts of control. Even my efforts to dominate its presence fail to find a home. I stand, longing, hoping that the distance between my heart and theirs never grows as great as the distance I find between them and me.
The distance between people is not always physical. You can be in the same room, yet be in different worlds. You can be physically close and yet your souls are strangers. One should never confuse emotional familiarity with love. Families work in ways one does not always understand.
As I watch myself watching families, kids, and pets wherever I am, I find myself experiencing the individuals in my life differently. The world is never as large as one imagines. The links that bind us are strong yet more fragile than we realize. When one reflects on what defines one’s life, an old observation sums up the view. “‘Look up, look around, look well! See them all gathering, coming to you? As sure as I am the living God’—God's Decree—‘you're going to put them on like so much jewelry, you're going to use them to dress up like a bride.’” (Isaiah 49.18)
The dawn is here. Instead of the normal color palate emerging, it is a black and white scene dominating by shades of gray. The clouds are moving from right to left, telling a story of storms that may emerge from the south. It could be a reason to fear. I find the clouds reassuring. Storms are a part of life; yet family makes life worth living. It may rain, we may get wet, but the relationships in our lives are far more important. It is the relationships in our communities where we find God alive.
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