Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Singles Awareness Day

For Valentine’s Day, the day of love, a group of us went to the Tenderloin in San Francisco and imparted God’s love and grace over homeless women. The group started early that morning by ironing the sheets and decorating the inside of SF Rescue Mission. Stations for foot massages, manicures, massage chairs and full facials were set up to offer free services to these women on Valentine’s Day.

I gave full facials to some of these women who, for a transitory moment, felt strangely familiar to me –a momentary connection between two strangers who have never met before until that very second. God is so good how He brings certain people into our lives. Though these women’s skins were not at their best, I was not too repulsed when I touched them. There was something peaceful about serving God through these women. Serving the homeless unleashed a flood of adoration for Jesus and His children. I even dove in and extracted some deep old blackheads! “Now, if that ain’t love, I don’t know what is!” There were a few times when my stomach churned as I watched the dried-up zit crawling out of the skin as if a worm is eating its way out of an apple. Ugghh… BUT OH! How much more beautiful they looked without the big blackheads screaming for attention. Each woman received a blessing from me while I massaged their heads, hands and feet. I prayed for God to clear their minds, allow their hands to make a living and their feet to run to Jesus.

At the end of each session, the women were so grateful; you could see Jesus’ love invade their souls. As much as I would have loved to help sheltered them, I would not be able add to their lives. At least, I was able to help give them a sense of beauty for 30 minutes and a sense of love when they were in my hands.

Later that evening, I found out that some, if not most, of the women were prostitutes. We served prostitutes! How amazing to know that these women who have been battered and used were actually being served and nurtured. God is so good. There is no other God like my God. No other God who deserves total adoration and commitment. My favorite passage from the Bible (and the wedding vow God gave me) is from the book of Ruth.

Ruth 1:16-17
“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”

Lord, I declare that I will go where You go. Your people are my people. I will serve them well as long as You are at my side. Remove everything and every person who will try and tempt me into leaving You. Amen.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


“She is not like an average four-year-old,” said the neighbor’s 12-year-old daughter when her mother asked if Nadia would like a Barbie doll for her birthday.

Nadia, my niece who looks just like me when I was little. Her mother is Argentine and her father, Vietnamese. Nadia –I love saying her name – has always been very mature for her age. She has to deal with the lack of love between her parents, watch her father walk off with another woman in his arms. She speaks Spanish, Vietnamese and English. Nadia watches Indy Foreign Movies with her mother, acts out funny characters from the movies, was taught by her mother to call her father “dork”.

Nadia, I love that little girl. I especially adore her. Not because she is the prettiest little thing, but more because her future will be so tough, because she has a father who cares more about his urges than about his four-year-old girl. Her face is of a sweet round innocent shape, but her eyes, they are so dark you can see the end of the world through them.

Nadia laughs and jokes like a little girl, but there are times when she speaks like an old woman. My poor, poor Nadia. So beautiful, yet destine to see ugliness around her. She sees me and she is happy. She sees her other cousins, aunts and uncles and she gets excited. She talks non-stop and plays games with her cousins. She gets lots of hugs and kisses from me – her auntie who tries to pour love in order to drown out the thought of her own father not loving her, to drown out the neediness of the assurance from a father’s love. She is beautiful how she radiates every time she smiles. She is beautiful how strands of her hair covers her face. She is beautiful how she is so small and thin that hugging her makes you want to hold her forever. “Nadia”, everyone loves calling her name.