Saturday, April 14, 2012


Surreal: having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream;unreal; fantastic.

Sometimes, I wake up and it takes a moment to gauge whether or not the events of the previous day were part of a dream or they actually happened. And sometimes, the realization that the day before was real hits harder than the actual event, since some shock has worn off. One morning I awoke to a knock on my door at 5am; the next, just to the sunlight peeking through my window.

3 days ago one of my roommate's best friends went to the ER for a very bad migraine. That night she was admitted to ICU, put on life support, and then died just hours later. Turns out she had a cancerous brain tumor.

She had just celebrated her first anniversary with her husband, was 25, and was studying toward a master of arts in counseling.

It was so fast. It reminds me of my father's sudden death, which will be 6 years ago this month. I'm so glad that her family was able to gather around her in those last hours. I didn't have that gift.

Every time people around me are shaken with loss, it builds a stronger resolve in me to live more fully into whatever moment I find myself: living with delight, joy, sorrow, and gratitude with the time we have. I hope to be more sincere with my interactions with people, in particular by letting those close to me know how I value them, and accepting the truths they speak into my life as well. This way, when the difficult times come, we have built up a store of assurances of love. Love is the strongest force I know to carry us through.

And when the truly joyous events also happen, we share in the rejoicing, just as we rejoice that my classmate knows no more pain in the difficulties of this earth. She is praising God in the heavenlies with the saints who have gone before, knowing as she is fully known and knowing God's love more clearly than ever. It may be juxtaposed with the loss we feel in losing a wife, sister, daughter, and friend, but that helps the joy to be all the stronger.

Thursday, April 05, 2012


It does seem to be a buzzword these days; in terms of race particularly, Americans seem to be paying more attention to the way we treat one another. It's heartening to see that people are actually doing something about it, like those that were at the TED2012 conference last month and saw Bryan Stevenson talk about the justice system. Here's the talk below:

And here's an article written about the talk, which tells more of the story- after the longest standing ovation in TED history, $1 million was donated to the Equal Justice Initiative in order to help them combat racial bias against people of color and lifetime sentences for youth, in particular.

He's a very engaging speaker, and his stories of both his grandmother and talking with Rosa Parks and her friends really brings the story home.

May we continue to face injustice and build relationships with others, so that what happened to Trayvon Martin doesn't happen again. One of my professors blogged about this recently, encouraging us to be wary about making presumptions especially because in this case the situation seems to have been started by racial/economic status concern.

It's a dark history we come from, even though there are many points of brightness- innovation, the assembly line, a land full of dreams as high as the sky, a beautiful country; but it is mixed with land the United States of America never paid for and enslaved while stealing from those who lived here, a history of slavery for economy's sake, and an evangelical Christian majority that turned their backs in the face of the civil rights movement, among others.

Sometimes it's extremely disheartening.

But like Rosa Parks told Bryan when she said his work would make him "tired, tired, tired", we too have to be "brave, brave, brave" and keep our eyes on the prize, and hold on.

Hold on!