The outside of the building clearly looked rundown. The paint on the plaster is faded. The traditional wooden shutters on the second and third floors do not quite fit properly. The commercial space on the ground level is silently shuttered. From all externals, 125 Jalan Besar is something that could easily find itself at the mercy of a wrecking ball, except there is a catch. This particular shop house is a classic example of a style that has long been forgotten. While many do not see its value, others do. It has been restored once. Regardless of what anyone might think, say, or try to do, its future will always contain the hope of another restoration and return to glory.
At time, I lose sight of what is valuable. Candidly, I do not know if I am really paying attention. Someone walks in, and without a glance, I ignore him or her and continue in a world that only I know. Only when someone reminds me of the facts and the lost opportunity do I begin to sense my loss and hope for the next encounter. It is a common trait many find themselves required to live with. In one story, after a rough first encounter, on the second occasion when “the chief and his police went and got them, but they handled them gently, fearful that the people would riot and turn on them.” (Acts 5.26)
I find myself reminding heart and mind with that I can be different, starting with how I see myself. I may have and be making mistakes, yet I am a child of God. I may not understand my value, God tells others as well as myself that I am priceless. I often destroy what is good. Even in the mess, God reaches out in compassionate and unconditional acceptance to begin the restoration process.
Life is often hard. In the midst of pain, anguish, and separation, take time to remember that even as God knows us intimately, God resolutely, and relentlessly reminds us that we are beloved children of Divinity.
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