“No matter how much you change, you still got to pay the price for the things you’ve done.” -Town, 2010
Saw the movie Town today. One of the better Ben Affleck movies. His character says these words at the end in a parting letter to his lover. Initially, they struck me as profound. Something about them sent a gentle wave of nostalgia through me. It could have been the closing, dramatic music and Affleck’s reflective voiceover, but, for some reason, the words seemed like they were true to the experience of life. Encapsulated in them is a sense of opportunity and hope mixed with resignation, regret and tragedy—the perfect ending to a Hollywood film. Unfortunately, while these words may sound wise and contain the tried and true formula for pulling at a moviegoer’s heartstrings, I believe they are trite and Continue reading
I’m going to do a series of posts titled “Memories of Racism, Memories of Grace.” As a Korean-American, I have faced much racism. I want to use this series to relay some of those experiences. But rather than rant about the injustice of racism, I hope to take a memoir-like approach where I describe the experiences and how they shaped my life.
You will find that while the racist encounters I describe in each post caused me significant pain and scarring, they were also the “source” of much grace. This was something that I could not have anticipated when I was young, but over the years, as I grappled with the many bitter memories, I found that they forced me to plumb the depths of not only my own heart, but also the heart of humanity in general. This wrestling helped me to better understand myself as well as those around me. And when I combined this knowledge with my faith, I discovered that there is a way to weave those racist encounters into the narrative of my life so that they produced understanding instead of tribalism, empathy rather than bitterness and wisdom over blind retribution. In other words, experience and faith helped me to find ways to redeem the evil within and without to produce grace and hope. I have not always succeeded, of course. But I have found that it is indeed possible. In fact, as a Christian, this type of redemption should be the dynamic thread running through all of life’s moments. Continue reading