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Photo by Michael Mueller

By Joy Wong

For the past few months since shelter-at-home orders have been in place, I’ve been viewing the time at home with the kids as an extended vacation; something to be endured, but only short-term. While my extroverted husband felt cooped up and struggled, I often felt my extreme introversion helped quite a bit. I often didn’t mind being at home all day; sometimes, I even enjoyed it.

But these days, I’m starting to feel a bit of despair. This season which I once thought of merely as temporary seems never-ending. As if I temporarily held my breath and put my head under water for a bit, I’m now feeling more desperate to “come up for air”; and yet every time I look at the news, the cases of Covid are soaring and increasing, the hope of a vaccine seems distant and dubious, and the possibility that this season could be a while is slowly sinking in.

This month, the theme for our blog is “power,” and in regards to most everything on this topic, I’m struggling. The topic of “power” is thrown around on the news everyday — the abuse of the power of leaders, the power of the people to protest, etc. But in regards to Covid-19, I feel nothing of power — my own power, other’s power, or even God’s power. On the contrary, I feel completely powerLESS — my life restricted and imposed upon. Perhaps that’s one reason why so many people choose to defy health orders, as they feel it as such a weight, an imprisonment, almost.

Even Scriptures that describe God’s might and power provide little comfort. They seat God high and lofty above us, but too distant to be relevant, especially when the world around me seems chaotic and out-of-control. It’s easy to think, If God is powerful, then why are we going through this? Will God just let us be tossed and turned as we are right now?

Instead of looking to the image of God as King, high and mighty seated on a throne, I rather find comfort in the power described in Romans 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (NIV). These days, when the outlook on the pandemic is so bad, when places that were deemed free of Covid-19 are having outbreaks again, and when the best outcome still sets any sense of normalcy a long way off, it’s easy to fall into despair; it truly takes the power of God to hope.

My prayer for myself, and for us as the community of God, is that despite feeling tossed and turned amidst chaos, desperation, exhaustion, grief, despair, uncertainty and anxiety — that we would know the power of the Holy Spirit to hope. And not just bits of hope — but rather a hope that overflows!

Joy Wong has an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary, a BA in English from Princeton University, as well as four years’ experience in industrial distribution management.  She is a contributing author to Mirrored Reflections: Reframing Biblical Characters, published in September 2010. 

Photo by Jeanne Menjoulet

By Ajung Sojwal

Somewhere in the canyons of my soul, where life’s circumstances get to have their say, I can feel that my notions of community are changing. For me, community has largely been about hospitality and creating a safe space for folks. About opening our home for friends, family and sometimes strangers to come together. Continue Reading »

Community: Unbound

Photo by Angela Ryo

By Angela Ryo

When I think of the word community, I am reminded of Jesus raising up Lazarus from the dead in the Gospel of John. Here’s the story from John 11:38-44:

38 Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Continue Reading »

Photo by Daniel Zimmermann

By Casey Iwanaga

What power do we have?
Are we the captains of our fate?
Or are we at the mercy of a God?
This Nation has a new sound; a new beat we march to
not the forgotten glorious proud beat but
the cries of agony, the tears of hurt and the loss of people mean nothing
The next 24 hours is all the time allotted for the hurt to be known
This hurt is pushed away, swept into the dark corner, swallowed by the unimportant happenings
What happens next? Continue Reading »

Photo by woodleywonderworks

By Sarah D. Park

I’ve been rewatching The West Wing, a political TV series based off of the day-to-day of a president and his staff. In our times that not even a writer could’ve invented, the show has proven to be a comforting balm to my cynical soul because it casts the American government at its idealistic and hope-filled best. The West Wing is a beautiful white liberal lie where more often than not, the Oval Office is bathed in golden afternoon light, and everyone is exceptionally competent whilst witty. Continue Reading »

Photo by David Geitgey Sierralupe

By Diana Kim

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbury, Elijah McClain, Eric Garner, Philando Castile

I have found myself sick to my stomach, seeing the list of the victims of unnecessary violence — through racial profiling, police brutality, systemic racism, injustice towards people of color — continue to grow. Add to that the spurring by racist vocabulary and phrases that ultimately permit violence, and we have America as it is today: a land that perpetuates violence against people of color. Continue Reading »

Photo by Jason Jacobs

By Wendy Choy-Chan

Madame Secretary (the TV show) – A hacker got hold of some sensitive pictures of Stevie (Madame Secretary’s daughter) and her boyfriend (who happened to be the President’s son). Good ending – The hacker got caught, the White House did damage control, Madame Secretary and the family were sympathetic towards Stevie. The last scene – Stevie met the hacker, told him that she wanted to spend a few minutes getting to know him, because she did not want to hate him for the thing that he did, but to try to forgive him for the person he was. Continue Reading »

The following statement was issued by Young Lee Hertig, the founder of AAWOL (Asian American Women On Leadership) as well as the current executive director of ISAAC (The Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity):

“Our only hope for our collective liberation is a politics of
deep solidarity rooted in love. In recent days, we’ve seen
what it looks like when people of all races, ethnicities,
genders and backgrounds rise up together, standing in
solidarity for justice, protesting, marching and singing
together, even as SWAT teams and tanks roll in.”

–Michelle Alexander

2020 has confronted us with compounding pandemics that includes not only COVID19, but the systemic racism evidenced by police officer Derek Chauvin’s brutal murder of George Floyd. Haunting many Asian Americans was the fact that an Asian American officer callously overlooked his colleague’s murder of George Floyd who pleaded for life. It was a 17-year-old girl’s bravery that caught the horrifying video. The video sent out entire shock waves to the world and protesters decided systemic racism was more dangerous than COVID-19. Continue Reading »

By Lauri Heikkinen

By Tina Teng-Henson

I wrote the bulk of this piece on April 14th, almost 2 months before both the violence and the peaceful protesting that have recently arisen on account of George Floyd’s brutal death. At the time, I didn’t think I’d have much to say about violence; we were all just trying to cope with Sheltering in Place on account of the Coronavirus. Continue Reading »

Photo by Anthony Crider

By Emi Iwanaga

 This gospel unveils a continual revelation of God’s righteousness—a perfect righteousness given to us when we believe. And it moves us from receiving life through faith, to the power of living by faith.  This is what the Scripture means when it says:

“We are right with God through life-giving faith!”

Romans 1:17 (TPT)

JUSTICE TODAY

Today the world is just not getting what it wants.
It doesn’t seem fair, doesn’t seem right.
A loved one passes without my hand to hold
A grandson graduates without my watching him walk.
A husband of 50 years denied that trip to celebrate our union. Continue Reading »

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