rain

rainy nights like tonight always remind me of the night, now five years ago, when my dad received his second chance at life. we were living in hacienda heights at the time. the call came just after midnight, confirming a car accident and a potential donor, and my parents rushed to the hospital. i remember seeing them off, running to my room, kneeling down, and with butterflies in my stomach, praying to God that this be it. This be what my whole family had been praying for, for the last two years. I remember asking Him to keep my parents safe as they drove to the hospital in Los Angeles.

i went to bed alone that night, woke up the next morning, and as I drove into work, received a call from my mom. My dad was going into surgery, preparing for the transplant. I wished him luck over the phone… his voice so faint and weak, but a hopefulness in it I had not heard before. i am sure my dad was as scared as i was, although he tried to laugh it off in his gentle, soft-spoken manner.

i knew i could not work that day. i could not function like a normal human being, knowing my dad was undergoing a 6-hour surgery. i needed to be close to my family. so i called in sick, and i joined my mom at the hospital. we spent time in the chapel praying, meditating, the music so peaceful and soothing…

that’s all i want to remember at this point. but it only takes a rainy night to bring the flood of memories back.

ordinary

there’s something magical about lights being dimmed… about a chorus of voices being lifted up together in unison. in that moment, i feel safe.

“have mercy on me, according to your love and your compassion…”

i fall. gazillions of times throughout the day. i am weak. i am broken. but i think i’m beginning to understand a beautiful truth.

a truth that proclaims… surely i am weak. surely i am a sinner. surely i am broken. and surely i must ask for grace and redemption and aid over and over and over again.

but maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. there’s nothing glamorous about the gospel. if anything, it sounds more and more ordinary the more that i think about it.

adam and eve sinned. they fell. the israelites sinned. they fell. time and time again. and so it goes on throughout history, right down to me. i sin. i fall. so often that i feel tired. but God restored adam and eve. He restored the israelites. and He restores me daily. i’m not glamorous. i am the most ordinary of persons. i ask for grace over and over again. and God gives it over and over again. freely.

when i see the wind blowing its essence through the trees, when i see shadows dancing on the bookcase right next to this computer, i am fooled for one minute. i’m fooled into thinking that everything is all right with this world that we live in. i’m fooled into thinking that the days will continue on just like this, in an eternal afternoon of sunshine, with no cares or burdens in the world. and then a cruel reality hits on Monday, as i return to work and my weeks are consumed with emotional drainage. i’m still learning to turn my mind off during the weekends.

i thought about Japan today. i thought about certain people there, and if ever i will have a chance to return to their world. and i had to swallow hard to get the lump out of my throat. why does my heart feel so wistful? it must be a part of the calling Pastor D. described in last week’s Call and Response.

so … tying all these things together? simply that the gospel is sufficient. it’s ordinary. simple. unglamorous. but amazingly beautiful. and that someday will be an eternal chorus of voices all lifted up together.

a day to look forward to.

“restore unto me the joy of your salvation. God, rescue me…fill my life again with passion.”