Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just Grace

Grace Church is my home church. My family was there when it first started. My parents and my brother's family still attend that church. It is always good to go there and see many of the faces that I grew up with.

Sunday, we went there for an ordination service. One of the ordained pastors used to serve at our church. The other, was a former Sunday school student of mine. I taught him when he was in 4th grade! Wow, did I feel old!

One thing that stood out from that ordination service: hot flashes. I was cold and then sweating hot. It seems that as the weather gets warmer, my hot flashes get hotter. I had a scarf around my neck to cover up my thyroidectomy scar, but I had to yank it off because I was sweating up a storm. Then, I put it back on. And then, I yanked it off again. My face felt hot and oily. I was talking to some people and I got really hot again. So, the person sitting across from me handed me a file folder to use as a fan. It felt so good but I felt a bit embarrassed at myself. When I got home, the armpits of my dress were soaking wet. One word: Menopause. Enough said.

The second thing that stood out for me was a short sermon given by a Korean American EM (English Ministry) pastor. Basically, he said that there would be times when it would feel like the KM (Korean Ministry) side was looking down on them, but to persevere in love. This is a very touchy subject for all Korean Americans. There have been many EMs in Korean churches that have broken off and decided to become "independent" for this reason. I don't want to get into the whys or hows, but I do want to say that my heart was so sad when he said this. I grew up attending EMs that were in KM churches. I knew exactly what he was talking about. I think that all Korean Americans do.

I used to be completely on the EM side and then I became a KM pastor's wife. I learned a lot of the strengths of the Korean (first generation) Church, but I also saw the weaknesses. I also saw the strengths of the EMs, but I also saw the weaknesses. There have been times when I have seen both sides and wondered, "Why can't we work this out? We can really complement each other." But, I know, that things aren't as simple as they might seem. So many factors. So many hurts. So many issues.

But my heart still yearns for a reconciliation of both sides. My husband and I have talked about this extensively. He knows the Korean American side - he's married to me! He also knows the Korean first generation side. He sees both sides and also wonders about what can be done to close the gap between the generations. Things may seem impossible, but we know that all things are possible with God. We have been praying and waiting...

On a lighter note, I was so glad that I could say "thank you" to so many of the women at the Grace EM. I need to tell you what this group has been doing. Since last year, they have been sending meals to our family almost every week! It has been over 12 years since I attended that church! But they are sending meals to us! I cannot tell you how much this has helped and blessed our family. Our family is forever grateful for the grace that these women have shown us.

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