Faith is as much lived out as it is believed. The fruits flow from the spirit. Amidst the knotty, conceptual, theological questions that belie questions of conversion and syncretism, I felt compelled to think about the history of Christianity in my own family, one where the sense of a paradigm being overturned is fully present.
A selection of poems from Jonathan Chan.
I do know that for all the ecological devastation we are experiencing, and which is increasingly heightening, there is not nearly enough concern and conversation among Christians about it. Creation care is an essential part of how Christians live their identities as creatures made by God and as stewards to care for the rest of creation.
What is enough? When can we slow down, dare to rest, or think about something beyond providing for ourselves? This scarcity mindset seeped into my early attempts to understand faith. The gospel was good news, but how could I trust its permanence?
Kapwa is a word that begs for something more than just a literal Tagalog-to-English translation. Just how does one unravel a word that deeply undergirds the Filipino cultural psyche, a core value that is inextricably woven into the fabric of our Filipino identity?
Contemporary Christian culture often teaches us to be generous with our time, our resources, our possessions. We are told to give and give and give until it hurts, or until we have no more left to give.
Sometimes I wish to be something other than me, a fledgling that grows steady as the sun when it rises up in the morning from its quiet rest.
Climate change will be the historically defining issue of our lifetimes, and I’ve gotten to see things unfold up close.
Amidst this raging pandemic, I wondered what my roots were made of? If I am cut down, will I begin to decompose or will my life find other ways of springing forth?
In some ways, this end feels final, and in other ways, it feels like a semicolon, the uncertainty of the direction of our relationship hovering in the air like a dandelion in the wind. Maybe one day one of us will be ready to reach out to mend the broken threads ... or create new ones.
What is the proper response to the sacrifice of all those who came before me? Who decides when it is enough?
The word "goodbye" can hold love, gentleness, peace, and goodness even amidst sorrow and ache.
After my grandma’s death, I found myself in this place of ambiguity. I didn’t lose her at the moment she died; rather, our relationship gradually waned as I grew up in the U.S., linguistically and culturally distant from her.
When we excuse and celebrate the violence of the cross, we risk excusing and celebrating the violence that happens to our kin and to ourselves. And when we decry the violence of the cross, we make room to decry the violence that happens to our kin and that happens to us.
That Vietnamese and Hmong Americans see themselves in the Afghans resettling in the U.S. is not surprising. From experiencing the atrocities of war to learning English, and everything in between, we can articulate some of the feelings that Afghan refugees may be experiencing.
My spirituality today is still ever-evolving, but I am each and both and all my ancestors at the same time. I think this is indicative of our world and how, even with our differences, we can learn so much from one another and live peacefully side by side.
You haven’t heard of Henan, Xinyang. People in China haven’t heard of it. Xinyang was the epicenter of the famine — something like 12% of the population died. It’s also my dad’s hometown.
The journey of freeing myself from the money ghosts and even befriending them has been like a spiraling staircase. I may be walking up or down the stairs and still uncover layers. It has not been a straightforward ride. It has required shifting and de-conditioning my sense of self before being motivated to seek out money mindset therapy and financial literacy work that does not reinforce prosperity gospel, bootstrap mentality, binary thinking, or economic injustice.
When I started embracing loss, death, and grief more openly, I found myself feeling a sense of freedom that I did not know before. I was suddenly more available to my own grief and the grief of others. I learned to be gracious with the me whom I have left behind.
One way to think about the impact of trauma is to consider the impact accidents have on a car. If a car crashes, it will most likely require fixing. Repeated crashes will most likely lead to even greater issues, not only externally, but also internally. Even if the car can still run, it’s likely that without intervention, its capacity to remain functional will be limited and quickly depleted.
“Journey to the Midwest” is a retelling of my father’s immigration story in the style of the classical Chinese novel, "Journey to the West".
We all have experiences that are difficult to name or even remember. Memories that we consciously or unconsciously try to bury.
Spanish and American colonizers brought whiteness upon our lands. Today, whiteness lingers as a ghost, and many Filipinos struggle to see beyond it, cursed with an inferiority complex that strives for the white ideal — an ideal that can never truly be achieved.
What happens when metaphors and rhetorics about the female body, in service of male control and desire, become literal?
Could women center their bodies as their own way of encountering God, without being subject to male desires or control? Can we articulate our own freedom by listening to, ritualizing, and making meaning out of our flows and cycles and senses?