Photo by col_adamson

Photo by col_adamson

By Diana Gee

If there was something that my dad truly loved aside from his family and fishing, it would be his late 70’s Dodge Ram van. Not of the generation that takes on debt, my father saved a pretty penny to purchase a van that was more steel-box than ram. We spent a lot of time in that van, especially going to lakes where fish lie waiting. But none spent more time on that van than my father. He spent countless hours studying the manual, tinkering with the mechanics and maintaining its life.

Even when this van was slowly de-evolving into rust particles, my father would patch it up and paint it over. It didn’t matter how it looked, it mattered that it did what it was supposed to do. When the time finally came to bring the van to a parts shop, all they offered was a few hundred dollars. What poor consolation for such a devoted owner!

My father was a tinker of stuff. He never finished high school, but he learned by taking things apart. Anything mechanical or electrical and broken, he would disassemble then reassemble. He found ways of repurposing things, like turning an old washer drum into an outdoor fire pit (and this was years before Pinterest). He kept cars running, appliances working, and a garage full of parts and tools.

There is a truism that underlies my father’s activities:

You truly don’t own something unless you can break it…

In other words, you become the master of something when you understand all the components that make that thing. They say that knowledge comes by taking things apart, but wisdom comes by putting it together. Wisdom can also come in re-imagining and re-creating for a new purpose.

In Exodus Moses was called by YHWH to deliver Israel from the bondage of Egypt. YHWH promised to free the Israelites and to take them as His people. From slaves to servants – it seemed like a straightforward task. But the people at first couldn’t believe that YHWH was for them. Their spirits were broken by generations of slavery and harsh treatment. And so the Lord began breaking down the sinful structure that kept them. Ten plagues were sent to deal with Pharaoh, but these ten plagues unmade the created world of Egypt. Instead of filling the world, creatures of water, earth, and sky flooded space and homes. Instead of having dominion and power, the Egyptians were submersed and drowned. And the people whom YHWH had chosen watched in awe. The Lord of all creation took apart all they had ever known so that they might know Him.

It wasn’t that long ago that women like me couldn’t do what I do: preach, teach, lead, or even vote. It wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t even conceive the idea of being a pastor. Structures, both externally in the Church and internally in my mind, had to break in order for me to re-imagine what life could be. Unbeknownst to me, and probably to many of us when we encounter the living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Moses, our Father’s aim was to make us His own. He is repurposing us for His Kingdom.

As painful as that process may be, there is beauty. Breath-taking, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping beauty when life rises out of broken chains and dreams. And given how long it takes and all the breaking and re-making that has gone on, I have come to believe that His interest is more than just ownership or tinkering or moving from point A to point B. It is nothing less than pure love.

Diana Gee is the Associate Pastor of Faith Community Christian Church in Vancouver, Canada. Diana is a second-generation, Chinese Canadian, born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She is trained as a structural engineer (B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, University of Alberta) and has worked in consulting for six years. She completed her master’s degree at Regent College (M.Div.) in 2011.

Photo by Christopher Adams

Photo by Christopher Adams

By Ann Chen

Anxiety. I deal with it far more than I like to admit.

My body doesn’t let me get away with it though. When it happens, my body tends to act out in various ways – strange pains, disturbed sleep, and a general sense of unwellness. Continue Reading »

Photo by Marcy Tomsen

Photo by Marcy Tomsen

By Young Lee Hertig

Increasingly I see Asian North American women reaching middle age with somatic symptoms such as hot flashes, headaches, sleep interruptions, and other symptoms.  Not long after a stressful move across the country from Los Angeles to Dayton, OH without any warning, menopause hit me one day. Continue Reading »

Photo by kaybee07

Photo by kaybee07

By Melanie Mar Chow

You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

– Acts 20:18-20 NRSV

Continue Reading »

Photo by Alessio Maffeis

Photo by Alessio Maffeis

By Chloe Sun

In one of the scenes of the movie “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” one person tells another person that everyone has a target number in his/her mind and asks that person what number is in his mind. The other person simply replied “more.” This one word captures a basic human desire. We want more. Continue Reading »

Photo by Joshua Wong

Photo by Joshua Wong

By Maria Liu Wong

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. —Micah 6:8 (NIV)

I just returned from a nine-day journey to Latin American cities with my 11-year old son Joshua, my colleague Mark, and his 12-year old son Daniel. Continue Reading »

Photo by Capture Queen

Photo by Capture Queen

By Wendy Choy-Chan

She has just walked out the door, a little nervous, holding onto the key that will lead her to her next milestone in life.  It is her driving test, finally, after a year of practicing and anticipation.  How many of these similar milestones and life stages has she gone through?  Each time with fear and trembling, but also each time learning to trust God and to have confidence in herself. I pray that God will be faithful and reward her for her efforts and give her courage, protection, wisdom and a smooth drive. Pray that this will be like the other steps that she has taken before. Yes, just like that very first step she took all by herself when she was one. I still remember clearly. Continue Reading »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 200 other followers

%d bloggers like this: