this free kid

The other day in counseling, I was asked how I’ve seen or experienced God in the part of me that’s Chinese. I had to think for a moment, and I realized I’m not sure about this one. From the beginning, I met God in a pretty American setting. We met at a Chinese church in Anaheim, CA. I learned about Him in English while surrounded by my fellow ABCs.

But I think as I’ve been working out more of my history, I’ve come to appreciate and experience God in a way that is uniquely my own.

See, my Chinese culture places high value on family. This is why my rebellion was considered level with blasphemy. This is why, to this day, I cannot have a blood family.

I chose my voice over family pride.

Pride is a parasite. It is an incomplete that distorts the complete. And yet, for our family, there was no basis even for pride. We were a fraud of a family. But boy, did we look the part.

And I would learn just what it means to sacrifice for this God romance.

In my Chinese culture, your surname – your family – is your all.

Therein lies the conflict.

God clearly tells me that He is above all, and I must choose Him above mother and surname if I want to come to Him; I must love God to the point where love for anyone else looks suspiciously similar to hate.

Gaining my family’s respect was my life. Giving up my family for God gave up my life.

I wonder how many people can appreciate the gravity of this situation. I wonder how many people have experienced just how invasive Christianity is, how much it demands.

In shrugging off the burden of being my family’s scapegoat, I donned a new set if fetters: I am enslaved to my God for the work of His glory, doing His will.

But being God’s slave is more freedom than I ever knew in my fifteen years prior to our meeting. It’s hard to wrap your mind around, isn’t it? But that’s okay. God’s big enough to handle paradox.

My counselor suggested that perhaps it is my Chinese culture that readied me to sacrifice all for who is worthy. I think it is very likely so.

Although it backfired for everyone else.

Worked out great for me, though.

And here is where God humbles me again.

Dear relatives,

Thank you for getting me here.


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