All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. -1 Cor 12:27

I’ve thought about it. I’ve preached on it. I’ve sung about it. I’ve meditated on it. I’ve done just about everything I could about this passage. I’ve even lived it. I play the role of a finger, or a toe, or an ear, or a mouth… in various places, various roles. In various walks of life, various responsibilities.

But today, today when my butt hurts like something I don’t want to say, I really feel it deep in my bowels what it means to be a part of the body. Because that one part of my body, that is often over looked, but so important in sitting and in pooping, and when I was a kid, taking my temperature (probably, I have no recollection) and medication at times as well. All of this to say, who knew how important that one part of the body is. Yes, it is for some people, some people are just attracted to that part of the body, but it does absolutely nothing for me.

Besides the point. When my head hurts, I really can’t do much until I take care of that, when my finger hurts, I just deal with it until the pain either goes away or it needs emergency attention. It all depends on the part of the body, the function it has in that particular time. Etc. How I ‘take care of it’ or ‘deal with it’ is different.

Who wudda thunk that my butt is like the sound card of the computer. You don’t realize how important it is until it’s malfunctioning.

So what role do I play in this Christian community that I am currently in. That I am currently called to love and serve. What do I do to make myself what God has called me to be here and now in this place? Am I a hand, an ankle, a knee, a shoulder… I’m mentioning a lot of joints… Is that something? Am I a bridge between x and y? Do I have to be that wherever I go?

Call Recorder

Not that I’m a super blogger or super personality, but I don’t want to publicly endorse an app in writing unless I really can back it up but I have found that Call Recorder is a much needed app for me. There are a lot of apps out there that I apparently expect too much from. You would think that any app that markets itself to do X (calculator, note taker, stop watch, etc) would do that. But I have found that that is not necessarily the case. I suppose that is why there are multiple apps that all work towards the same thing. Anyways, I finally found a call recorder app that works! I was using one that just recorded static for about a year! I cannot believe that it was doing that. I went on a search, found this, installed it and it has been working perfectly. Sound quality is great. It’s easy to listen to and you can save the sound file as a variety of sound files. My life functions in mp3s so that’s what I save mine as. One thing to be aware of is that if you’re like me and came to this app with another app that isn’t functioning and have one pre-installed that is recording alongside this app, it won’t work. I deleted the other one and this worked great. It comes with a 14 day free trial but it is worth every penny. Especially if you did a phone interview and want to recount what you have just said to your potential employers. Kinda important.

Arlington. Twin Cities. Korea.

Over the past few months I’ve come across a few people who have commented that when I (and others) refer to South Korea, Republic of Korea, the country I’m from (or am I… dun dun dun)… I always say Korea, as do most others. And this has been ruminating in my mind for a while… Is it imperialistic of me to say Korea, and presume that everyone knows and understands that when I say Korea it means South Korea? Or do I even specifically mean South Korea? After all, North and South Korea are one people ruled by two drastically different governments. When we are unified, will we be ‘Unified Korea’? Or will we still just be Korea. Does that imply something about North Koreans losing their identity? Gosh this is a whole mess of I don’t know-ness.

I think something I could compare it to is what comes to mind when I say Arlington? For me for some reason it’s always been Arlington, VA. But I have come across many people who talk about Arlington and it’s the Arlington they’re most close to. Arlington, MA. Arlington, TX. Arlington, MI. But for whatever reason Arlington is not always followed by the state one is referring to. I suppose it is the same with other many other towns and cities.

But on the other hand when you say you are from London, people automatically presume you mean London, England and not from London, Ontario in Canada. When you say you are from Paris, people automatically presume you mean Paris, France and not Paris, TX. When you say you are from the Twin Cities, people tend to think of Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota, even though my little towns of Texarkana Arkansas and Texarkana Texas are also twin cities, as are Kansas City MO and KS. What does this imply?

I know I’m reading too much into this, but as I start to parse this out as to what it means for society, for the people who live there and for those who are outside, as well as what this means for me… I cannot help but think that there are some inherent things that shape the way we think, the way we talk, the way we… are.

Just like how there is a Korean word for ‘different’ but most of the time people use the word ‘wrong’ in place of ‘different’ and that is how Koreans tend to think. If you think ‘differently’ to me, then you are ‘wrong’ you are ‘incorrect.’

What does it mean when we presume that identity on them (whoever those who live there, are from there, are from the other larger/more widely known/referred to place, and others)? That Korea is South Korea, that Arlington is in Virginia, and that London is in England.

And then I wonder, would this matter to me if I wasn’t a TCK and all messed up inside my head about my cultural identity?

Swelling Heart

I’ve been here all of maybe 5 days. And I know the beginning, while rough, is always good. But I can’t help but just love where I am. Tbh, I had a real… gaurdedness about coming here. Far away from most things I know and love. But it’s growing on me the way that only God can make something move in your heart to love and appreciate the things here. Even the hurt and pain that the congregation has shouldered over the past few months, year, decades… I take them in as a part of my shared responsibility to love and shower God’s love on them. I think I wrote something similar a few years ago when I realized the immensity of the task put before me. What a privilege it is to be able to, what would otherwise be intruding in, but walking with and through the valleys of the shadows of death, and come out the other end victorious. Because it is in God’s plans for us to do so.

My heart breaks and swells, the way a real heart does.

I LOVE IT!

My way.

I’m gonna do it my f- way.

Because I have to live with the f- consequences.

And I’m stupid enough that I need to experience the difficulties of my f- decisions, twice or thrice, before I f- learn.

Don’t give me the holy advice. It’s all c- to me. S-. Can I say that?

When it comes to something personal.

But then how do I live with the two sides of myself. Just beat it huh. Like Paul said, I beat myself to stay in the race. S-, my mom is right. F- I hate it when she’s right.

Forever Thankful

I’ve come to a realization recently. I’ve settled in Michigan better than I have anywhere else in the world. Well maybe excluding childhood years when you don’t really know how to settle but you don’t even know you’re supposed to settle/resettle/unsettle. (And I think a big part of that is that when I came here, I decided to settle. I was here to stay. To live. To take root. I bought a substantial dining set, I got involved, I loved, I lived, I laughed. And that let me let life and let live and let go… Anyhoo)

The past two+ years that I have been in Michigan have been the best in my life. And that’s the way it should be. Each year the best of your life until now. Until now. Until now. I’ve made amazing friends. I’ve met amazing people. I’ve gone to amazing restaurants, and had amazing experiences. It’s been an all-round-amazing-time.

That’s not to say that I’ve not had the downs. The downs have been FREAKIN’ down. It’s been really hard. Dealing with H and then S. And even being diagnosed with a disease that plagues my body, and thus my soul.

But I am so grateful for the past two years of my life, for the laughs.

It’s not been a totally not-lonely journey. It’s definitely been lonely at times. When I spent days by myself. When I was sick and didn’t want to tell anyone. I wanted the world to know and take care of me but didn’t quite know how to get the word out there except on social media. But what does that do, it’s like a bunch of thumbs up to a starving child in Africa. Thumbs up ain’t getting me nowhere. But someone did come out and take care of me. Gave me food, gave me strength, gave me courage.

I am so grateful to B, C, C, C, E, F, J, J, J, J, K, K, M, M, M, R, S, S, S, S. Regardless of how it ended. And probably a few, or maybe many many more.

And most of all I’m so thankful that God sent me here to meet these people who are now my intercessors.

I don’t know how I’m going to deal with leaving this behind. How I’ll keep in touch with all of my beloveds. The way life is, we move on. And though right now I don’t really want to… when it’s time, it’s time.

I did not fall in love with a Man the way my family had hoped. But I did fall in love with Michigan.

Celebrate

A couple months ago, my last remaining grandparent went to be with the Lord. Even though we all knew it was coming, relatively soon, it was still a surprise. The funeral was a beautiful service held at a place called the Sky Chapel, where with the way the light hits the glass and the angles of the beams, it really looks like someone could be lifted up to heaven from the earth. When my family all met together the day before the funeral, I expected my mother to need a lot of support but she said that she was okay, and that although she was sad, she was happy that grandma went to be with the Lord. Believing things on face value, I took that as that. But during and after the funeral I was able to witness her saying goodbye to her mother for the last time, a scene that I will never forget and breaks my heart whenever I think of it. But where I really saw what God intended for us, for humans, not only to celebrate the life of those who have passed but to celebrate our presence together and our physical and mental capacity to be able to serve God.

I’m still trying to marry the disconnects. Some will be connected, others will remain forever in limbo. And while that’s frustrating, I know it’s OK.