For those with long Singaporean memories, the Singapore River is still inky blue black. I know when I look at the scene, everything has changed, but my mind does not naturally accept the change. I see what I see. I smell things long ago vanquished. I even hear sounds of hawkers in sterile places, vendors plying their wares where only malls now exist. Memories, once infused, are hard to shake. Even when I see, I do not. Even when I hear, I do not. I find my experiences colored by filters with expiration dates decades old.
I wish my observation only applied to Singapore. When I think of relationships, old and new, familiar places and new, I find my bias and filters continuing to shape, change, and alter the perspectives of my life. It is I refuse to see openly. My view must be right! My hearing is always perfect. Even my memory operates without flaws or weaknesses. If only some of this were true.
The reality of the gaps in my life is hard to accept. Yet it is in the harsh reality of daylight that beauty, compassion, and wonder flourish! What may seem terrible, can be a blessing in disguise. The very things that drive one mad can often reshape one appreciation for the gifts and awe that surrounds even the bleakest situation. Nothing is quite as it seems, no matter how black and white it might appear in the moment.
The obvious question are relevant; “your ruined land? Your devastated, decimated land? Filled with more people than you know what to do with! And your barbarian enemies, a fading memory.” (Isaiah 49.19) Hope abounds where one least expects. Mercy shows up when life is at its worst. Energy comes from those who often have little.
I find myself walking beside the Singapore River with renewed appreciation. Things are changing, growing, evolving all around me! The world is fresh with hope. Everything is possible. I can be part of the process and the result. So can you. Creation is never a final singular event.
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