As I researched a potential new restaurant, I inadvertently discovered an explanation of the origins of Little India in Singapore. I love the enclave for its food, shopping, and chaotic reminders of my childhood. It seems that the British who founded what become modern day Singapore designated this section of town for Tamil convicts and other Indians that needed to be segregated from the rest of the community.
Across every generation, individuals have struggled to know that they belong. Paul left a person note to the generations that followed; “I don’t deserve to be included in that inner circle, as you well know, having spent all those early years trying my best to stamp God’s church right out of existence.” (1 Corinthians 15.9) The Indian community, at home and abroad, struggled for generations to take their rightful place. Others minorities have had to face battles of their own.
As I reflect on what Little India and the home country have become, I see individuals and communities that have taken their rightful place on the world’s stage. History initially reflects how individuals were held within a box. With time, others are able to see their contributions. Each recognition gives strength to the generations that follow.
There is a spiritual pattern that follows. As I see my forefathers live out this knowledge, I understand the role acceptance, mercy and forgiveness has in my life. I am God’s child! As flawed as I am, I am part of Divinity’s family! I can make a difference. I can contribute. I am part of a great story.
History has been used as a weapon for far too long. The injustices of yesterday do not need to continue. My failures do not need to script my future. Life is willing to use history as a teaching tool to help us grow. Beyond that, the God I know asks us to remember in ways that do not bind us. We are free to act. We are empowered to create. We have the freedom to do things worthy of gods. History opens up today.