Today my new co-worker asked me if I wanted a piece of candy. I said sure, thinking it was going to be one of these red strawberry candies or a similar type of candy.
You know, the ones that they always have in Asian restaurants. And being that my new co-worker is a Korean lady the same age as my mom, I thought that this was a somewhat logical guess because my mom always seems to have one in her purse. Anyways, I didn’t get to have this strawberry candy because she ended up giving me a Halls cough drop. I guess we have different connotations of “candy.”
Today I was driving to work and as I was stopped at a red light, I saw that a car from the opposite direction was also stopped at a red light hoping to make a left turn. I thought it was strange that I could see so clearly the front bumper of this car across the intersection, but then I realized that this car was aligned directly in my path! This car was actually stopped to make a left turn in the wrong lane (the lane I’m supposed to be driving in), past the double yellow lines that separate traffic. As the light turned green and I drove across the intersection, I changed lanes because the car was blocking the lane that I was supposed to go to. I drove by the car and thought to myself, “Please don’t be Asian, please don’t be Asian…” I looked, and she was Asian.
This is probably one of my favorite names for God because no matter how many times I say it, I am humbled each and every time. You aren’t just my God, my Father, my Savior, Emmanuel, but You are the King of Glory, the Lord Almighty.
While it may be comforting to know exactly where I’ll be in a year, it is still evermore comforting to know where I’ll be in eternity’s time. And with the eternal life I am granted through Christ, I am also granted an eternal perspective that reveals my career, my wants, my arguments, and my material belongings as ultimately and simply, insignificant. For what value do these things have in the face of a god who created us, who created man, and who created the universe?
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no hell.
In Syria, once, at the headwaters of the Jordan, a camel took charge of my overcoat while the tents were being pitched, and examined it with a critical eye, all over, with as much interest as if he had an idea of getting one made like it; and then, after he was done figuring on it as an article of apparel, he began to contemplate it as an article of diet. He put his foot on it, and lifted one of the sleeves out with his teeth, and chewed and chewed at it, gradually taking it in, and all the while opening and closing his eyes in a kind of religious ecstasy, as if he had never tasted anything as good as an overcoat before in his life.
I have developed a newfound appreciation for Mark Twain.
“'If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God, it will make in the end no difference what you have chosen instead.' … We shall have missed the end for which we are formed and rejected the only thing that satisfies. Does it matter to a man dying in a desert by which choice of route he missed the only well?”—C.S. Lewis
Thankful for all that God has given me; thankful for the opportunities, the blessings, the friends, the family, and the life that I have in Him. Thankful that I am able to see and thankful that I have Him.
Thankful for the trials, the temptations, the ups, and the downs. Thankful for the hardships and the suffering; thankful for Christ’s hardships and Christ’s suffering. Thankful for the cross and thankful for the Resurrection. Thankful for His sovereign hand and faithful presence, and for His unending comfort and surpassing peace.
Thankful for His love to a wretched sinner like me.
“I returned the miniature, wondering what in the world had made him open his heart to me. That was something I never did; it was dangerous. First, it was dangerous if you felt like that about anything, because then you’d never get it or something or someone would take it away from you; then it was dangerous because nobody would understand you and they’d only laugh and think you were crazy.”—Ralph Ellison; Invisible Man
1:50 AM Twenty minutes ago, I lifted my blanket in hopes of entering a delightful slumber. Though my sleepy stupor clouds my judgment, I did not fail to see the massive black creature sitting atop my pillow. Naturally, I was thrown aback at the appalling sight of this spider. Like I said, it’s been twenty minutes now as I’ve watched this culprit move from pillow, to sheet, to wall, to ceiling, only to have it fall from the ceiling back onto my pillow. I am back at square one.
1:53 AM It has been three whole minutes since the arachnid has remained immobile. I think that fall has taken a toll on it’s body. It is currently settled comfortably on the edge of my pillow.
2:01 AM The weather outside is surprisingly windy and I’m almost certain that Gloria is sleeping with her window open because her bedroom door keeps opening and closing by itself. At first, I didn’t think much of it, but now I am convinced her door is doing that just to add to this eerie mood.
2:05 AM Because the spider has chosen to rest in the nook between my pillow and the wall, all visual contact has been lost. As such, I am forced to wander back and forth to make sure it is still there.
2:08 AM It is still there.
2:15 AM The adversary has been captured. Praise the Lord for good friends.
“It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.”—W.E.B. Du Bois
I look to my left. Tall, tanned, bleach blonde hair: swimmer. To my right, a laughing hyena. But perhaps the swimmer is not a swimmer at all and is in actuality, terrified of water. Or the hyena, a sad, sad raven. Appearances can be duplicitous.
Exhibit A. I like to get to class a little early so I can sit on a right-handed desk by the door a couple rows from the front, which is great because I can easily get up and go to the restroom, I have a place for my coffee, and it’s close enough for my audio notes to be clear, but not so close that I get splattered with saliva.
I’ve sat there all quarter, but these days, there have been some rebels who have decided that they also want that exact seat. And before you call me selfish, there are an abundance of open seats (that picture is just a snippet of the whole classroom), and who the heck is left-handed these days anyways. Alright. So, I was driving to campus and then I inconveniently got stuck behind a painfully slow car, which was frustrating because there wasn’t any congestion on the roads at that time that would cause such sloth-like movement. I heaved a heavy sigh, switched lanes, sped up, and glanced at the driver, who just so happened to be an elderly woman. I thought, “Aw shucks, sweet old grandma” and continued on my way. The point is, is that things aren’t always as they seem. A slow driver does not mean a stupid driver. It may, in fact, mean safe, aging driver. And in case you’re wondering, I did not get my usual seat in class. But such is life.
Exhibit B. One day I was at Zot n Go standing in front of rows and rows of individual snack bags. As I was surveying the plethora of choices, a red bag caught my special attention and I quickly decided that this was the one.
Satisfied, I rang up my purchase and headed off into the sunset. (Not really, it was around 2pm). Anyways, I decided to save this bag until I was as hungry as Esau because as the saying goes, hunger is the best pickle. When I decided I was thoroughly Esau-tic, I whipped out my bag of Cheez-Its, but dreadfully, terribly, and woefully found out that the lucky bag I had chosen was, in actuality, a Hot & Spicy bag.
I was betrayed by my own eyes. Dejected by my own mistake. My thoughts were racing until they were so rudely interrupted by my growling stomach. I decided to just eat these dumb Cheez-Its because I was saving up my appetite for them all day (more like 3 hours). And so, I opened the bag and threw one in my mouth. It was surprisingly… pleasant. Not really hot, nor spicy (sounds like false advertising to me), but it had a nice little kick. Some zest. Tang. Pizazz. Whatever. Moral of the story is, Hot & Spicy Cheez-Its may claim they are hot and spicy, but they are actually… Lukewarm and mild. And delicious. I learned that day that Cheez-Its, too, can be duplicitous in appearance.
The reason I present these two stories is because if appearances are duplicitous, I wonder what people think of me; I wonder if I am a good witness to those around me. Do my actions exhibit the love of Christ that has saved me? Or do people simply see me as some weird Asian girl? (Sorta true). Still, I wish to be a good witness. Food for thought. For me. Or for you. This was really random. So good day, everyone. Witness light.
My creative juices have ceased to flow. I am a vegetable, perhaps a piece of celery that takes more calories to chew than it has in itself. What I’m craving is the replenishment of that which has been depleted. The gas to my Honda. The Cosmo to my Wanda.
Well, I can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them.
“There was a lady in France, that, having had the smallpox, flayed the skin off her face to make it more level; and, whereas before she looked like a nutmeg-grater, after she resembled an abortive hedgehog.”—Bosola; The Duchess of Malfi
He had tried to reach out to her as if by instinct, but each time he lifted his arms, she would smile and walk further away until she disappeared completely. All that was left was her fading voice, but that too was gone with one last, gentle breeze.
1. Do not take off diamond studs at the airport security check or else you might drop one, not realize it, and have to go through security again to look for it.
2. If you are Asian and are taking pictures in the New York Public Library, service employees will think you are a fob and compliment you on how well you speak English.
3. If you think you see Oscar in your hotel waiting in the lobby right next to you for 10 whole minutes, it is 99.9% him. So ask for a picture or an autograph or something (anything) instead of standing there like an idiot and getting caught staring multiple times trying to decide if it really is him.
4. The subways are magical. As long as you know where you’re going.
5. Don’t bother using your turn signals. Ignore all traffic rules and drive like you always have the right of way.
6. Do not take a picture with the man who makes Hot Nuts on the street. He will close his eyes and look like he enjoys your scent in the picture.
7. If you think you see Oscar, just take a freaking picture.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
After a long day and night of classes, I came to my car to find this stuck on my windshield.
This is not a pleasant sight to see. Ever. Distraught, I sat in my car and flipped the envelope over to see what my violation was, but was instead greeted by this:
It was a note from our downstairs neighbor who works as a parking officer at UCI!
This definitely came as a shock, but it was no doubt the perfect way to end the night: to be reminded that no matter how stressful or tough of a day we’re having, God will always find a way to make it better, even if it’s through a simple note like this.
Thankful for our kind & thoughtful neighbor and our loving & caring Father! =)
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.