So what do you when you become aware of that small pea that you’ve been sleeping on? My gut feeling, which I’ve been carrying around with me for some time now, is that something is wrong with the ways in which Asian Americans understand and relate to our faith because we have pawned off our identity for the American dream.
With this rather brash hypothesis, it has left me very little room to operate in terms of what I view as positive in the current landscape of Asian American churches. This sounds rather pretentious, especially when I’m not in a major hub of Asian American activity – Atlanta, Georgia. It also sounds foolish coming from someone who’s working from a small sampling of churches and who doesn’t hail from a strong denominational/church background. My father was/is a pastor/church planter in the smallest of rural towns along the east coast of Florida. I’m also confessing that I’m a hack – I’ve never served a ministry of much consequence, I’m not a particularly moving preacher, and I have no track record of leadership to speak of, with the sole exception that my wife believes in me.
In essence, the more and more I blog, the more I realize that I am an idiot. When people ask me what gifts the Asian American church has to offer the body of Christ at large, my thoughts empty out as though someone had pulled the plug in a kitchen sink. When someone reads or hears my harangues about the void of Asian American worship, and they ask me what is should sound like or look like, my own silence deafens me.
Am I so filled with self-loathing that I can’t mention the positive about Asian American churches? Am I so critical that I cannot conceive of what could be?
I have so many questions and so few answers.
Last week, one of my colleagues in seminary, a recent Korean immigrant, looked me in the eye and said, “You know what the problem with the 2nd generation is?”
My engines started to rev. THE problem? I’ve got a truckload of problems…I started flapping my lips, but he waved me off.
“You don’t pray enough. You can criticize the first generation all you want and you’d be right. They have their problems. They have trouble living the Gospel, it’s true. Their lifestyles are a complete mess, I know. But at five in the morning, they still gather by the hundreds and pray. Their churches grow and they feed each other. They pray. The second generation needs to learn to pray.”
Kitchen sink again.
I repent. I got nothing. Dear God, I am at square one again. give me a heart for you and your people. I have not sought your heart enough. I have ignored the beauty that is right before my eyes. Show me and give me hope. Give me hope, give me a future, give me a home. Amen.