Su Yon Pak (she/hers) is the Senior Director and Associate Professor of Integrative and Field-based Education at Union Theological Seminary, NYC. In this hybrid faculty-administrator position, she envisions, creates, and oversees the curricular and co-curricular work of field education, chaplaincy concentration, clinical pastoral education, ministerial formation, and combined courses inside Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. She is the co-author and co-editor of "Sisters in Mourning: Daughters Reflect on Care, Loss, and Meaning" (Cascade, 2021). She is interested in exploring the intersection of queerness and contemplative traditions as a spiritual director. Most importantly, she is a proud grandmother of Isobel and our grand puppy, Chara.
How will we transcend this cloistered pandemic moment that allowed for intimacies to flourish — intimacies that are usually interrupted by the busyness of the world? How will we respond to being shaped and reshaped by the inbreaking of the “real world”?
I was challenged with Su not to lapse back into my tendency to be shy or to run away when I feel exposed. The practice was — and remains — to keep showing up. To stay present to the unfolding of a relationship built — from the outset — on the foundation of vulnerability. It is far from easy.
If you’ve ever been in the presence of someone who is unafraid of themselves and thus unafraid to truly see you — then you know that it is sacred and holy. The space between you is where the divine shows up fully. There grace abounds.
Theological reflection is an ordered inquiry into an individual or corporate experience in conversation with the wisdom of religious and cultural traditions. It produces a conceptual framework that leads to action.