Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Courage or Cowardice?

"One of the most cowardly things ordinary people do is shut their eyes to facts." -C.S. Lewis

Ladies and Gentleman here are the facts.
Every minute approx. 15 people die of starvation.
Every year 3.5 million children die from lack of food.
There are more than 27 million slaves in the world today, more than any other point in history.
The average age of a trafficked victim is 12. (that means there are some that are younger than 12!)
Babies being raped.
And it happens in our backyards. 
The U.S is ranked as the third largest destination country for traffickers 
And North Carolina ranks in the top eight states for Human Trafficking...and Charlotte is where it happens the most in NC.

Ladies and gentleman can we have courage.?
Can we a generation that fights back against the encroaching darkness and clip the talons of evil?
Or will be the people who stop our ears, cover our eyes, and pretend that these atrocities are not happening on our watch.
I know these numbers are astronomical, I know they are almost mind numbing...
But do we really want to be like the people in Germany during World War II that just sang songs in the church louder to drown out the noise of the trains rumbling by....to take the Jews to their deaths in concentration camps. The people who apathetically let people be mistreated and die around them.
Or do we want to be like the courageous, brave individuals who hid them in their basements. They didn't save all of the people--but they saved some.Can we stop for a moment and listen to the cries that are rising all around us calling us to action?Can we let our worship actually move our hands and feet to action?

No, we can't fix everything...but does this mean we don't fix anything?No, we can't help everyone...but does that mean we don't help ANYONE?

One child. One life. Do you not think it's worth it?
Can we value human life more than comfort and security?
Find an issue that lights your fire on the inside and then do something.
You might not be able to afford to give finances--but you have a platform no matter who are you.
Educate people; ignorance is only going to cause this problem to get worse.
Educate yourself.
I don't know about you but I choose courage.
I'm still scared of what you people might think of me.
But I cannot be quiet anymore and I cannot just sit by and not do anything.
I will do something even if I go all alone.
Life is too short to waste being a coward and I've already wasted a lot of time being one.

Here are some places to start: 
My friend Melissa runs a Children's Home in Nicaragua. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Casa-de-Gozo/193122194102381
My friend Lanie works with an organization that is rescuing girls who have been trafficked right here in Charlotte. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rise-Up-Ministries/156720777794836
My friend Katelyn interns at a 
Cure provides surgeries for people who can't afford them--all over the world.https://www.facebook.com/cureinternational
Compassion International feeds and provides an education for children all over the world.https://www.facebook.com/compassionintl
Children's Hunger Fund is an absolutely amazing organization that feeds thousands of children around the globe. https://www.facebook.com/ChildrensHungerFund
James Barnett is homeless because he chooses to be. https://www.facebook.com/JamesTheVerbClothe Your Neighbor as Yourself provides things for people in need relative for what you buy from them.https://www.facebook.com/CYNYORG
Katie Davis (my hero) is in her early twenties and has 16 children and feeds over a thousand people every week. http://www.amazima.org/
"it’s not that we don’t know or we’re not shown the proof of poverty
it’s not that we don’t have the tools to go to break this yoke of slavery
we quit because it’s not an easy fix and then forget that they are even there
we forget to care"

Monday, April 29, 2013

I post a status on facebook asking for people to help me pay for 3 surgeries and immediately I become incredibly impatient.
I am a fixer.
I want to fix problems now.
I want to pay for everything in 4 hours.
I want to try and control the situation.
And I hear God whisper quietly, "I got this. You can trust me. It's my job to speak to people's heart, not yours."

I sit on my bed and whisper back, "I believe, but oh Lord help my unbelief."

Pray for my faith.


Let me not be blind with privilegeGive me eyes to see the painLet the blessing You've poured out on me
Not be spent on me in vainLet this life be used for change

I was born into a very affluent family.
Both of my parents grew up in relatively poor families but worked hard put themselves through school and saved their money.
I never wanted for anything. However, my parents didn't want me grow up taking money for granted.
I grew up wearing hand me downs and we shopped at good will and garage sales. And it was understood that I wasn't going to be allowed to act like a spoiled brat :)
Nonetheless I don't know what it is like to go to bed hungry.
I don't know what it is like to not be able to afford medical care or clothes.
I grew up having more than 90% of the world.

There are times I question, "Why me?" Why was I born into the most affluent country in the history of the world. Why do I get to live like this while other people die? This has bothered me from the time I was a teenager. Why do we as Christians talk so much more than we do? Critize so much more than we help?
Could a spark of Your love light the whole Church on fire?
When we care for our neighbor more than we care for style?

We don't like to talk about uncomfortable things here in America. No one likes the Debbie Downer that talks about the fact there are 27 million slaves in the world today-more than ever before, that the average age of a girl trafficked into prostitution is 12 FREAKING 12, no one wants to think about one of the 16,000children that will die of hunger related causes, and that Charlotte is a literal hub bub of sex trafficking. Nobody likes that girl who won't shut up about the marginalized, broken, poor, orphans, lost and hurting. We'd rather talk about fun things.

I don't want to be that girl. I like people liking me. I don't want to be the Debbie Downer; I don't want to be annoyingBut if I don't who will? I've stitched my mouth closed for far too long.
When I breathe in hope and breathe in grace and breathe in God
Then I'll breathe out peace, breathe out justice, breathe out love.

I am here for a reason. I have a this small sphere of influence I have for a reason.
I've been given this ability to as my English instructor told me, "You effortlessly do what some people work for years to do well--you put words to your feelings and convey them accurately."
I've been born in America for a reason.
I've right here in this very moment for a reason even if I don't know exactly why.
There is a reason I am good at rhetoric.
There is a reason that these issues like a fire in my heart and make me want to run around like a crazy person telling people.
No we can't save everyone--but we can save one. And that one is worth it.
Do we not do anything because we can't do everything?
And if you and I don't do anything-then who will?

So here I am.
My name is Ming.
I am free.
I am loved.
I will be a voice for the voiceless.
I will carry a torch for those who can't carry one themselves.
And I will love every single moment of it.
This is life.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


It's been a year, which is ridiculous. On one hand it feels like forever, on the other hand it feels like this last year has flown by. It's the dichotomy of life I suppose.

It's crazy to think that a year ago I was more depressed than I have ever been before and variated between throwing massive temper tantrums and begging while wrestling with God and why life just has to suck and hurt so bad sometimes.

Until...I decided that I wasn't going to let something bad be the defining moment of my life. 

Friday, April 26, 2013


What am I doing with my life?
I don't really know the answer to that question.
There is this itching in my bones that insists that there is abounding life just around the corner if I would just be brave enough to reach out and take it.
But I feel like there should more than this-more than this working to accumulate a solid savings account, buying a house, and having a perfect retirement planned...surely this can not be the ultimate in life...
There has to be more than just going to church, being a good person, and then laying quietly in my coffin when my lungs exhale for the last time.

Surely life wasn't meant to be lived like this...
The American "dream" just seems so...comfortable and safe.
And were we really meant to live life safe?
Or should I just sit down and shut up?



I've wanted to write about this for a while but every time I sit down to write I find myself at a loss for words. I find myself searching for a way to accurately convey how I feel about this topic-because I am terrified of coming across as cliche. I don't want to come across as if I think I've figured it all out or that I am preaching-so I stitch my mouth closed and sit on my hands.
Even now who do I think I am to even speak to this subject? I'm just twenty-two, a quirky, naive young girl-what do I know?
But this is what I struggle with, this is one of the battle grounds that I have walked and been found lying on the ground in defeat far too often. I can speak to this because my critical eyes tear myself apart and naturally the lack of grace that I use to measure myself starts trickling down into the way that I view others. I start to judge then impatience and distaste instead of love and acceptance start to become the tenor of my life.
In the moments when I am most fully aware of the buckets of grace and recognize that I am swimming in an ocean of unending love and forgiveness; that is when I realize that I free to love people. I start recognizing that the people surrounding me are characters in this grand story just like I am-some are just more tightly gripped in the addictions, hurt and pain that to some extent pervade all of our lives. I remember more quickly that I don't know all of the back stories, I don't know the confusion, brokenness, and road they have had to walk, I don't know the demons that hunt them, whispering lies into their ears.
I see girls who run to relationship after relationship hoping and praying that they will finally find someone who will give them the love and acceptance they so desperately crave. I see the world throwing images of a very narrowly defined definition of beauty into our faces demanding that we join the rat race. Demanding that we lose more weight, never age, have flawless skin, and have a perfect wardrobe. I see people who try to find their worth in the occupation, their reputation, and their material possessions. And to some degree or another at different times: I've been all those people. I see people look for something to drown out the voices with alcohol, food, drugs, "fun"...pick your poison.
G. K. Chesterton once said, "Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God.” And I think he captures it perfectly...we are all searching for something to fill this void that exists in the center of our being. The void that tells us that something is not right in the world. Pain, sadness, heartache and death were never meant to have the final word.
This is getting much longer than I was intending it too...
I guess all I really want to say is, you're enough, you're loved, you're desired and you're beautiful-even with your scars, hurts, hang-ups, and failures. And you can be saved, redeemed, and free. You can have what you could never have earned on your own. Check you pride at the door and accept that Jesus loves you just as you but not as you should be-because we will never be as we should be.
Screw this world ladies and gentleman. Screw it's ridiculous rules and impossible standards of beauty.
I will never be that girl/woman and that's fine by me.
I will never be a size 2. I will never have a good sense of style.
I will never be perfect. I will always be a little of kilter.
And that is totally fine by me
Because I am redeemed.
I am Ming-Wai.
I like to read books too much.
I am super nerdy.
I only wear make up when I feel like it.
I don't need a smart phone
I would rather be comfortable than look good.
I am worse off than I know.
But I'm more loved than I can imagine.
And I love Jesus a whole freakin lot.
Now He is all that and a bag of chips :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What should I do next?

“What would I actually do if I had it to do all over again? Heeding John’s counsel, I would simply do the next thing in love.”– Brennan Manning

This quote has been playing in the background of my thoughts lately.

I love it. I love this quote because I love to over complicate things and it cuts through all my questions as to what I should do next. It hacks away at my desire to know the end result of something before I begin, it prunes through all of the existential stuff I deal with and gets back to the heart of the matter.

What should I do next? Doesn't really matter--just infuse it, cover it, soak it, and then actually do it - with love.

Sometimes I feel like a rose bush; I grow best when I am pruned back with regularly and remember that the important things really are not as complicated as my overly analytical self would like to make them.

When my life is interrupted-speak with love. When that person is about to get on my last nerve...what should I do? Whatever doing something in love looks like. What does my future look like? What is God going to do with my life? What does He want from me? Those questions are answered almost irritatingly simple truth -- "Whatever you do Ming, do it in love." 
The part that is incredibly frustrating is that I fail to do it most of the time. I forget that this is what I am created to do-and I begin to think and act like the dirt of the earth is all that is woven into my being and that it has the only and final word.I lose my temper, I gossip, I spin the story to make myself look more favorably in my own eyes and in the eyes of others, I judge, I let offences steep in my soul, I become apathetic, my eyes wander, I forget who I am, I am the prodigal and the stuck up son who stayed home, and I run away from the very One who would save me.
I am trying though, grasping this idea and the God behind it. 

Remembering that He loves me no matter what I do and maintains a firm grip on me because I cannot hold on myself. Remembering that in the midst of my brokenness and failings: I am loved. I am cherished and adored and loved and valued beyond comprehension, just as I am and not as I should be because I willnever be what I should be this side of heaven. 

And when I make my camp here and remember who I am, what follows is freedom and love.
And then, and only then can I really love.


Do things.
Don't just say things.
Do things.
Don't just do things capriciously.
Do things and purposely infuse and cover them with love.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Maybe One Day...

This morning I woke up on the best possible side of the bed. The world is washed with the feeling of newness, the weather is promising a gorgeous spring day and I have the day off of work.

Maybe one day I will grow old, cynical, and view the world through a cracked and bitter lens.
Maybe one day I will stop being astounded at the fact that the color green exists and that I can smell bread baking.
Maybe one day I will become jaded, hardened, and not care that I live on a ball that is hurtling through the universe.
Maybe one day I will find that my sense of wonder has died.
Maybe one day I will find that I must do crazy things to make myself feel anything.
Maybe one day I will find that I do care not for fairy tales anymore and that I have come to believe that stories are only for children.
Maybe one day I will stop feeling as if all of life is an awfully grand adventure.
Maybe one day I will start feeling more scared of death and try to live life more carefully.
Maybe one day I will stop feeling a sense of awe when I think about grace, mercy, and love.
Maybe one day I will stop finding great enjoyment climbing trees, swinging on hammocks, prayer, waffles, good conversation, laughter with friends, bowls of cereal, walking through words, smelling flowers, baby animals, reading books, autumn, boots, scarves, SPRING, shorts, cinnamon rolls, long walks, soft blankets, swishy skirts, the feel of the wind through my hair and a cup of tea.
Maybe one day...
But today is not that day.

I lay outside late last night reading in the hammock-until my hands felt like ice. Then I stopped reading, I buried my hands under my down comforter that I had dragged outside to accompany me and stared up at the sky beneath the spindly branches of the oak tree that I was resting under.

I thought about how I simultaneously feel incredibly ancient and also like a young naive girl at the same time. I wondered how it was possible that I am told that I am pretty mature and yet incredibly childlike at the same time. I wondered how it can be that I filled at one moment with joy and gratefulness for the life I have here on earth-and yet have a deep yearning for the holy shores of  uncreated light. I am a creature consisting of many dichotomies. 

I thought about how dark the branches looked against the midnight blue sky, I looked at the stars and marveled at the fact that there galaxies and universes out there besides the one that I reside in, I looked at the horizon and was reminded anew of the absolute ridiculousness that I was in a small hammock on a ball that is spinning and twirling through space at over a thousand miles an hour (gravity is quite an amazing thing), and I thought how absurd platypuses look.

Maybe you think I am only like this because I am young, naive, and you think simply think the world has just dealt me a good hand...but one day...one day I will grow up.
I am sorry if you think me to simplistic and childish.

Maybe one day my heart will grow old and I will begin to think and act like a stodgy adult to please you people.
But...today is not that day.
Sunshine and Freckles.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Religious activities are so much easier to quantify than a relationship...

Putting all my belief's in a nice neat little box is much easier than wrestling with God...

And it's so much easier to label people than it is to love them...

The one thing that frustrates me more than anything else about myself it is my incredibly short memory I have when it comes to remembering that the only identity I have that matters at all--is that I am loved beyond all imagination. I'll grasp it for a moment and then it will slip and spill like water from my hands--and then I start to identify and try to find my worth in so many other things.

I start to try to find my worth in what people think of me.
or my intelligence.
or how I look.
But then the inevitable happens and I am reminded how incredibly much I fall short of my own standards--much less God's.
And I see how impatient I am.
And how selfish I am.

And I feel hopeless and feel like I will never change.

And then I remember...I am loved.
Deeply. Completely. Utterly. Loved.

And I remember that this life is worth it.