Archive for August, 2009

A Time for everything

I’ve been learning a lot about TIME these past couple weeks (and how it is not in my hands).

I had a birthday and a funeral right next to each other this year. I would’ve never wished this, but that’s what happened. Two Sundays ago was my 25th birthday. And by God’s provision, on Monday & Tuesday I was able to attend my close friend’s mother’s funeral.

I left to go be with this friend, Esther (who is literally like a sister to me) on that Sunday, after hearing about her mother’s passing. And even as I received birthday wishes, thoughts of its importance seemed to just fade in the background.  Instead,  thoughts of worry and insecurity like…  “how is Esther doing?” , “how is her family?”,  “how could I help?” and other thoughts seem to cloud my mind and emotions. And again, it’s not because I’m a saint, but I also realized that grief can be a much stronger emotion than happiness. And for some reason, Sunday wasn’t a time to be happy.  Esther’s father who is a pastor, felt called to start a church in downtown LA with his family two years ago, their life of  ministry, which is true of most of their lives, has been spent, away from their immediate and extended family. Because they were not there,  it seemed like by me being present, I was making a sacrifice. However, others and I would agree that we walked away feeling like it was a privilege to be there at all.

It was a blessing to get to stay with her family and see the heart of thankfulness that they had, in spite of their loss. Her mom had been battling cancer since last November, and the timing of her death, though sudden, seemed as they saw it, to be perfectly in God’s hands.  Being able to comfort the hundreds that came, mourning the loss of their mother and at times crying with them was no easy thing. Also at the time, it made me think…

“There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die… a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”   – Ecclesiastes 3:1,4

But what was even more surprising, was after the funeral was over, I was blessed (and because I’m Korean I resisted this at first) with an intimate celebration of my birthday in the very house where we mourned earlier that day. The celebration seemed so natural, and without a doubt … genuine. There was now peace in that house where Esther’s mom had gone, and I tangibly felt it through the Christ-like love that Esther’s mom taught her family. Because Manny, Esther and her dad continued to pour it out to others around them.

These, in short, were my thoughts coming away from this time…

Outlining this time of grieving, was a sense of celebrating … a life well lived and one set free; … and then a life that at a quarter century began with renewed hope for more. Though the latter seemed much less significant… it left me with the gift to think…  How will I now Live?

Thank you, Mrs. Lim, for the gift of your life and the many that you have impacted. You have left a legacy.




August 2009
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