Monday, May 23, 2016

hold fast your aim, by sun and star, be earnest and brave

May is Asian Pacific Heritage Month. I'm a heritage breed human.

It's a very exciting time to be Taiwanese American!

This new era for Taiwan, marked by Friday's inauguration of Madam President Tsai Ing-Wen, is a day my grandparents thought would never come. This mixture of disbelief and relief at the arrival of a New Day, a new political reality and peaceful governance, is a feeling-state I want to file away. For me, the hope was mostly inhaled, inherited, second-hand. Even so. Will It feel like this Then?

Were you watching this inauguration? Does it utterly bore you now? What kind of real-time witness do the heavens bear to the unfolding of earthly events?

Whatever economic sanctions, war, diplomatic consequences lie next on the horizon for Taiwan, for poking that big dragon across that strait and for daring to be herself, tell her own story to herself and to the world . . . remember this political moment. This brave and bold celebration.

Monday, May 16, 2016

approaching asymptotes

There are things you can’t reach. But
you can reach out to them, and all day long.

// Mary Oliver, Why I Wake Early

Friday, May 13, 2016

a prayer for when my wings feel broken

when death and daybreak are at hand
hold on, hold out, past the agony
when you see him you will be made like him
in the light of a new day

be a well-watered garden! not a garbage can. Thank you Lord.

(of Gibran's)

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Our God, who art our winged self,
it is thy will in us that willeth.
It is thy desire in us that desireth.
It is thy urge in us that would turn our nights, which are thine,
into days––which are thine also.
We cannot ask thee for aught, for thou knowest our needs before they are born in us:
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself
Thou givest us all.

Great and gracious are You God,
You bid me fly, and give me wings.

sun, sun sun here it comes. thank you for a perfect parent

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Dear Mom

Baby Mama, 1963

Thank you for doing your best.
Thank you for not giving up.
Thank you for your pains.

Thank you for naming me, in three languages, after beautiful women of the King's court;
You prayed for me to be crowned in gold and clothed in indigo.
The names were prayers that I'd rise above and surpass;
Thank you for speaking 青出於藍 over me.

Thank you for loving God.
Thank you for loving the Bible.
Thank you for teaching me to pray.
Thank you for entrusting me to the care of a local church.
Thank you for urging me to press into things unseen, a spirit world.

Thank you for Guh and for commanding us to be best friends.

Thank you for giving me life, Mom. I very much like being alive.

We sent this one up for you.

Ahma and I missed you a lot these years. Your absence was felt all the time. She prayed for us, we prayed for you. I guess it kind of went something like this:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Not mine (to) own

13.  Resolved, never to buy/own anything I am unwilling to loan:  But who am I . . . that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness (1 Chronicles 29:14–17).

14.  Resolved, to remember my worth and my unworthiness. I am worse and weaker than I dared admit, but through Christ I am more loved and accepted than I dared hope. Lord, do suspend me in this great grace, between these peaks and pits, let mercy be my harness.

My worth is not in what I own, not in the strength of flesh and bone
But in the costly wounds of love, at the cross

My worth is not in skill or name, in win or lose, in pride or shame
But in the blood of Christ that flowed at the cross

I rejoice in my Redeemer
Greatest treasure, wellspring of my soul
I will trust in Him, no other
My soul is satisfied in Him alone

I will not boast in wealth or might or human wisdom's fleeting light
But I will boast in knowing Christ at the cross

Two wonders here that I confess: My worth and my unworthiness
My value fixed –– my ransom paid –– at the cross

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Prayer of Adoration

Holy LORD of all creation,

​You are Holy, yet so involved with us.
​You give life, breath, form to dust.
You knew the end, our ends, from the beginning –– creating us each with a name, an interpretation, and meaning.
Dignifying us with bodies, giving us shape, and strength, and clothing
When our efforts to re-create ourselves, or to fashion You in our likeness maim and degrade us, Lord, You show us mercy
You turn our eyes away from ourselves and onto You.
​You are Holy, Lord, yet You allow us to see You.
ou wash our eyes
​, wipe the tears that blur our vision,
​the scars that blind us

​We behold You, and in Your mercy, we are not destroyed, but 
like You in that beholding.​
You are Holy, and yet you are NEAR to us.
​Inhabiting the praises of Your people.
Without You, we hide our hearts in trembling shame. We fail, O Lord, to acquit and justify ourselves.
But You declare Your children righteous and blessed.
You have resurrected us, we celebrate that this Sunday of Easter,
You raised us up with You, so we open our mouths in petition and praise!
Where before there was guilty silence, you give us a NEW song, gathering us from lonely desert wanderings, to ascend to You, together.​
We sing these songs of ascent, and suddenly, we are not alone, but together in the company of your people and your angels, crying out Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord.
Thank You for these songs, that carry our sorry notes of grief, our high and happy notes, our weary/resting pauses to You.
We sing Your praises to ascend to You, and suddenly we are at rest––
for You have descended to us, to the dead, to dwell with us, and give us new life. 
You are Holy, God, and yet you are with us
You labor with us, not only to make us safe from Your holiness, but to make us Holy, like You.
What dignity, kindness
​, mercy, and family
 You have bestowed on us!
Stay in our company, Lord, as we sing these freedom songs, in Christ's name –– AMEN.​