Singapore was, in my youth, a place of conservative values. In many ways it still is. Yet there is an underbelly to the city defying Singapore’s tradition of family values. In the heart of the prestige shopping district, housed in a tower of shopping district’s name, are two international bank’s most profitable cash machines. They service the nightclubs and nightly trade in human experiences that are at the soul of the hedonistic life. Souls for sale are on display for the interested and the innocent. Buyer and seller negotiate with the full witness of any who happens to be present. It is as if a paradox continues to live and grow without intervention or comment.
I caught the scene while walking with two friends. Even as we commented on the images already etching themselves into souls, I found myself compassionately disturbed to my core. I wish I knew a way to share my fears and concerns. I wish I had the right to interfere. I wish I had the trust required for a real conversation.
To one I would say. “You were so confident and comfortable in your evil life, saying, ‘No one sees me.’ You thought you knew so much, had everything figured out. What delusion! Smugly telling yourself, ‘I'm Number One. There's nobody but me.’” (Isaiah 47.10)
To another I would say, “You are beloved. You are a child of God. You are part of a great family. We love you just as you are. We want to bring you home-to give you unconditional gifts of hope, belonging, and value. You are truly priceless.”
I waited in line, alone, as my heart bled. There was nothing I could do except cry out to God. No, this was not, is not true. I can look at her with respect and honor. I can hold up each to God, realizing their lives into the Spirit’s care. I can live for God, modeling the values we hold most dear.
A new day is here. The question then and now is this; what story will my actions tell?
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