By Sarah D. Park

I still cannot believe that I ended up on a boat. I was bobbing on the water, sitting there with multiple layers on and a life jacket, chomping on a cold fried chicken sandwich while holding a can of makkoli in between my knees, listening to a crank radio broadcast on a baseball game that I could care less about, when I found myself thinking, “How did this happen?”

It was a Saturday afternoon and the Giants were playing the Dodgers at Oracle Park. A whole side of the stadium is open to McCovey Cove, a pocket of the San Francisco Bay, and just the night before, I had learned about the phenomenon known as a splash hit. It’s when a batter, usually a leftie, hits a home run out of the park and the ball lands in the water. Then suddenly, a flurry of fans on kayaks and motorboats swoop in to vie for the ball. These aren’t fans who paid for a ticket; they can’t even see the baseball field from the cove. They’re specifically there to grab a splash hit. And that’s how my friends and I found ourselves floating on a boat.

Maybe it was the roar of fans that carried over the bay, or the fact that we were warm under our puffy jackets, grinning into the cold breeze, but I felt such a tangible hope for the first time in a long while.

It didn’t matter that we were less maneuverable in our bulky inflatable compared to the smaller hard-hulled vultures, and even if there was a splash hit, it had to land close enough to us for my friend Steph to jump in and claim it, 50 degrees with wind chill be damned. The tiny chance of us succeeding filled us with a hope that blanketed the hour it took to inflate the vessel and it did not diminish during the two hours it took to deflate, pack, drive back home, and towel-dry the boat. Something about that hope colored our day with a new narrative of shared and present joy.

We did not catch a splash hit. But I caught something I had forgotten: the taste of hope.

Isolation in a protracted pandemic combined with a waxing and waning depression can make you forget what hope feels like. Hope can even feel counter to your well-being, that it’s dangerous to hope only to be let down again.

Dare I hope that our society will become less individualistic after this pandemic passes? Do I hope that I will ever learn to be alone without feeling lonely? Can I hope that I won’t dread tomorrow because it only feels like another chance to fail?

What frustrates me is that my questions about hope are so oriented toward the future when I need hope now. And somewhere in the waiting for a splash hit lies the answer.

Maybe putting ourselves in the path of hope is enough to open us up to new ways of experiencing the same hours of the day. So I close my eyes and I will my bones to remember the feeling of that hope: electrifying, abundant, and light.

Sarah D. Park is a freelance writer whose work focuses on the cultivation of cross-racial dialogue with a Christian faith orientation. She is also a story producer for Inheritance Magazine and manages communications for several organizations. She currently calls the Bay Area her home but is an Angeleno through and through.

By Diana Kim

Photo by Jim Lukach

I was gifted an orchid plant at the beginning of the year. I thought that I would be able to easily take care of the orchid, but it didn’t go as planned. It lasted about six months, which is pretty good for me. Perhaps I overwatered it. Perhaps I placed it in a space where it got too much direct sunlight. One by one, the flowers started to wilt and fall off. Even the big leaves started to turn brown. I thought that the orchid was dead and so I was ready to throw it away.

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By Wendy Choy-Chan

Photo by Gido

As I circled back to Genesis in my Bible reading, I realized that the vision of John in Revelation 21 and 22 is not just some imaginary pie in the sky that God was drawing up for John. The city of God, the river of life, the tree of life – they were all God’s original design from the very beginning, as in Genesis 1 and 2. 

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By Tina Teng-Henson

Photo by Tatiana T

I gave notice at my church on Sunday, towards the end of a message about following Jesus through the crowd that initially loved him then opposed him in his hometown. In a message that was about leaving the 99 to go after the one lost lamb. In a message about focusing, like him, on those who were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 

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Healing: He and Me

By Emi Iwanaga

Photo by Chad Sparkes
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By Jerrica KF Ching

Photo by alexisnyal

Healing comes in many different forms, covering many aspects of our life.  Healing can be for physical ailment, emotional turmoil, or spiritual renewal.  I believe there are many of us who, amidst an ongoing global pandemic, have been hoping, praying, and seeking healing in all areas of our lives. 

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By Melanie Mar Chow

Being a campus minister for over 30 years, I have appreciated walking alongside Christian students who seek to learn about God and science and apply their knowledge to valuable careers. The most recent survey in 2015 notes that Asian Americans rank the highest among those pursuing STEM majors at 30%.

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By April Yamasaki

Photo by Evelyn Lim

Last Sunday I preached on Psalm 111 which is both a psalm of thanksgiving and a wisdom psalm. The psalmist writes, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart” (v. 1), and ends, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.”

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Spotlight: May Chin

May Chin is the pastor of Grace Alive Fellowship (GAF), which she planted with a team of five women in the heart of NYC Chinatown. She also helped to found Women of Wonder! (WOW!) and is working part-time as the Director of Spiritual Discernment. Formerly, May served as the Director of the Herald Youth Center serving Chinese immigrant teens, as well as the former Director of English ministries at the Church of the Living Lord, where she established an inter-generational congregation, a children’s church, youth service, and a summer leadership training school for early teens. She is a licensed social worker and recently graduated with an MA in Ministry in the Global City at the City Seminary of New York. May is married, has a daughter studying costume design, and 2 fun loving cats.

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By Ajung Sojwal

Photo by Bruce Guenter

I have friends who insists that the earth is barely 6000 years old and genuinely believe that humanity’s scientific endeavor is the devil’s scheme to lure us away from God. If I had half the kind of passionate curiosity about God as do scientists about their field of study, I would never be able to forget that indeed, neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39).

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