Dae Shik Kim Hawkins Jr. currently lives in Seattle, WA. There he is involved with many advocacy coalitions and community organizing groups. Dae Shik is a freelance writer that covers topics around religion, race, and justice. Some publications that have published his work include Sojourners, Inheritance Magazine, The Establishment, and The Nation.
I had no other choice but to grow up in a Korean immigrant church — my dad was the pastor. Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays were church days. Wednesday for the midweek service; Friday for youth group when I was old enough; Saturday for Rainbow School (c’mon Korean church folks, you know what I’m talking about); and Sunday for, you know, church.
“You don’t put a frog in already boiling water because it’ll jump out immediately. Too hot. You put the frog in room temperature water first. Then as the water begins to boil, he’ll wonder why it’s getting so hot. And then, next thing you know, it’s too hot and he’s cooked. That’s how it works with sin. You compromise on the small things and then next thing you know, you’re in hot water not knowing how to get out.”
The biggest scars we carry in life are not caused by random strangers. They’re given to us by the people we once loved and trusted, the people we allowed to love us. Sometimes these wounds heal. Other times we pick at the scabs and reopen the wound time after time.
Working at a church can often strengthen your faith journey. But a lot of times, working at a church is like taking a peek into seeing how sausages are made. As the saying goes, you don’t want to know how the sausage is made because you won’t want to eat it anymore. Working at churches can expose us to the behind-the-scenes of ministry, and at times, the things we discover can never be unseen.
I grew up watching white people on TV. White families on popular sitcoms always interested me because of how different they were culturally from my own family culture. I often asked my mom why we couldn’t have casseroles for dinner or why we didn’t go on family vacations.
“What are you doing with your life? Why are you always throwing away your life for other people?” It was my first time home in over a year; apparently, my mother was not very happy with my decision to become more involved in activism around the Seattle area.