For many, there was an up-town side of the tracks in their town and a south side. One often had much while the other struggled to simply survive. In my case, the tracks were really different! Relative to what was normal in America, almost everything in the India of my childhood was south of the tracks. The largest share of the population of that era struggled to go through the day without hunger. Wages were pitiful. Work opportunities limited. Running water, heat, refrigerators were all optional luxury items beyond the reach of many. Even those on the up-town side of Bangalore or Pune lived in a very different way than those in the West.
In this environment, one always finds the imprint of your community stamped within the perception of who and what you are. The way a particular culture, country, or community touches one’s soul is consistent with time. Part of the essence of our soul rests in and with our community. At times this strengthens our resolve and confidence while on other occasions we find ourselves fighting for survival.
It is a battle that I see continually waged with friends and in my life. With God, it is even worse. I know I am less than acceptable. I understand some of my weaknesses while knowing God sees even further than I am willing to imagine. It is hard to approach God with confidence! “You were like an abandoned wife, devastated with grief, and God welcomed you back, like a woman married young and then left,” says your God.” (Isaiah 54.6)
The truth is very different that I imagined. With God, even with each other, truth tells us that we all stand on equal footing. I am no more or less worthy than anyone else in this world. God views every human being as a beloved child, worthy of full and complete restoration. God grants you and I the opportunity to stand with confidence in Divinity’s presence. We can know our salvation. It starts with God’s view. It continues in our walk with the Spirit.
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