Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Lunch break with Pastor Steven Chin

Today was a day of defeat. I went into little Panda and enjoyed my little Kung Fu class and wondered if the whole campaign was just wishful thinking and a dream. Will I ever get THAT involved on a campaign again? Well Leland's campaign is coming up. I am assuming the Oak Tin group will back him because he always goes to their banquets. But I also thought they would have backed Diana.
Was I naive?
 I prefer to say optimistic.
In any case, I guess if they back him I will just do what they do and see what it's like to lay on their team for once. If not... I don't know I guess I would talk to Leland and see what's up.
He seems like a nice guy.

But man did I feel depressed at this loss. Why? Because I saw a potential future.

"Keep going, even if she loses.. next time, keep going," Was what one old man lectured to me as I walked him back over to Castle Square. I had a nice little conversation with him and this white woman... who could understand Cantonese but could not speak it, and warned me to be careful in these projects.

"I know I'm from here."

And my mother and I were robbed there too, a gun pointed at me while I was in the stroller.

I finished my class, which the homeless man who used to sleep at the Tai Tung Park watched thoroughly. Was he just watching me plotting revenge for moving his stuff from time to time (though I also picked up his belongings and handed them to him as well) or did he watch because he was interested in Kung Fu? He left and was replaced by an old woman who actually followed along on my wheels on the Kung Fu bus routine. You see, the wheels on the Kung Fu bus was created for kids. But actually it runs through the 10 animal styles of fighting in a brief and simplified way and ads the circular wheeled fists at the beginning. It could be its own sustem but is easy for anyone to just watch and pick up. That's why I maintain it isn't just for kids.

After that I did my Chinatown Sweeping. They were surprised to see me.

"I thought you quit?"

"Just till after the election."

The street was pretty clean except for the section near Nai Lun Association. Mostly I picked up cigarette butts by hand. And granted I only did one side of the street.  The playground was clean. No heroin needles.

Then I went over to meet Pastor Steven Chin at BCEC. He treated me to a Chicken and Vegetables over rice at Chinatown Cafe where we talked religion and Chinatown. I always forget that a lot of people say grace before their meal. So I did that with him.

We talked about Evangelical Christianity versus Catholocism and all other sorts of stuff. They say not to talk about religion or politics because you might end up fighting. But actually I really liked hearing his view. And he did ask me for my background as well.

"I think most people actually think like you." he said.

Really? Where are these people. Let's meet up.

The truth is I unburdened myself to him a bit, almost like a confession, even though I'm not sure if Evangelicals do that. And again even though Agatha Tong is Catholic, and he explained to me the difference, I got that same sort of vibe. I was glad to have spent time with someone who has strong beliefs (even if they are not the same as mine) and dedicates his life to those beliefs. In fact, he agreed to become a contributor so you may see more posts by him on the blog.

We talked about the place that BCEC  has in Chinatown and most of what he talked about was to help others and do good works not to get into heaven, but to show appreciation for the fact that they will get into heaven because of Jesus's sacrifice. This viewpoint is actually foreign to me. I guess on the inside I am Buddhist or more Gospel of St. Thomas or Mary Magdalene-ish, where the Divine spark comes from within, or that Christ is within you, instead of an external sacrifice.

I talked a little bit about why I considered myself a Christian (though a different flavor, and really only recently) and how I looked to the stories and mythology of Jesus as an example.. except that I didn't want to be crucified.

On my ride back into JP to pick up my kids, I had all these warm fuzzy feelings. The grass was green and the day felt like Easter Spring and Christian metaphor and poetry and warmth spread through me.

I even thought... "Jesus did not wish to be crucified either. And in the end, if that is what it takes to fight for your beliefs... it is natural to ask the cup to be passed, but don't be a coward about it."

The words I thought were more crude, like the language in my other posts, though since I plan on sending this post to Pastor Steven, I will keep it clean. But I don't pretend to be someone who does not regularly use foul language.

The thought of how Abraham and Jesus both had to sacrifice for God, and I suppose I believe in a God that is not a HE but more mystical and awe inspiring than the multi verse...but really if a God that powerful who can end the Universe wants it so than it is so. That sounds like I am being forced to sacrifice so that's not right. The point is, only honor is guaranteed (and that is a quote not from the Bible but from the Hagakura) I.e. life is not guaranteed. So sometimes to succeed you simply cannot be afraid.

My point is, I have always been joking recently that I cannot follow Jesus's example because that will get you crucified.  But when you really look at who Jesus was. He was already crucified from birth because of who he was in his society and all he really was (from an atheist perspective) was a voice for his people and a people that were slowly being crucified every day. So what is there to fear about being crucified once. And always I forget about the harder to believe part of the story, that he came back to life.


Now Pastor Steve might not like what I did here. I don't know, he will have his own posts though. But I saw a relationship there to my recent experience on this campaign. Diana lost. She's out.

But that's okay.

What she stood for, at least what she stood for in my mind, will rise again.
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