Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas.

Welcome To Our World
Chris Rice

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You've been promised, we've been waiting
Welcome Holy Child
Welcome Holy Child

Hope that you don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long-awaited Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please make Yourself at home

Bring Your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking Heaven's silence
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world

Thursday, December 15, 2005


it's been a month since you went home. i'm sorry i didn't speak at your funeral because i just didn't know what to say at the time. my thoughts and feelings are a little bit more formed now, although i don't think i'll be able to adequately describe them through words. but i'll try. i also want this to serve as a reminder for me, that when i do forget in the future, i'd be reminded of God's goodness in hard times like these. i just want to tell you of how much you meant to me.

i just can't describe the void you left. i can't begin to understand what it must be like for umma. how can i fill your shoes now? not once in your life did you ever get sick until this. you were supposed to grow old with mom, retire, become a grandfather, travel the world, and one day, leave this world as an old, old man. if i was given to write the story, it would have been like this.

but i can't. everyone's stories have already been written and we're left to trust in God's Providence. to embrace "Thy will be done." that things happen the way they do according to a bigger purpose, greater than individual wants and wishes. Providence is something i'll struggle with for the rest of my life, but oddly, also find it to be the only thing that will lead me to real comfort. i'll never quite understand why He took you now then later, but that's a question i'll ask when it's my time to go. but i envy the fact that you could ask all the questions you want to Him, face-to-face. how amazing is that. and then i start to remember that you're no longer in your broken body, but now able to walk on your own two feet with the Lord. to experience a happiness and peace that doesn't exist on earth, to live and breathe in glorious heaven, to see Jesus with your own two eyes..

...then i have no choice but to give thanks to God. you're at last free from pain. your suffering is now only a distant memory in comparison to what you're experiencing now. i thank God that you surrendered your life and know Him as Savior. i thank God that we were able to see the best doctors, to be treated at the best medical facility with the best staff. i thank God that you lived to celebrate your 30th anniversary with umma. i thank God that our family was able to share our last words and make promises of reunion. and finally, that you passed away in the "best" way -- with your family at your bedside and all your friends surrounding you, in your sleep you left. even with the ravages of the cancer, i can't think of a better way for you to go.

you lived a good life appa. i learned so many valuable lessons not from what you said, but by how you lived. i learned from your mistakes. i learned from your successes. by the sweat of your brow, you worked so hard to make ends meet, sacrificed so much to provide for this family.. and not once did we ever lack something we needed. and i'm so proud that you continued to stay strong for your family even while you were at your weakest.

i love you for being my dad. for all that you've done for this family in giving us a better life, and i hope to step in your shoes and continue that. i'll always see you as strong-as-oak in my heart. it's never possible to stop missing you. but i will always find comfort that He fulfilled His promise to you of abundant Life. i will eagerly hope for the day we meet again. please watch over this family.

-from your loving son.