shrinking the gap

a couple of days after thanksgiving, matt and i spent an evening with my parents.  we had dinner together and then after asher went to bed, the four of us stayed up talking.  my mom decided she wanted to share her story of coming to america as a twenty year old.  of course my dad and i knew all of this but she wanted to share it with matt though he's heard most of it through me already. 
even though i had heard my mom's story of leaving one culture and all things familiar to cross the bridge into the unknown of america, i was struck with how crazy it must have been as i listened to it again.
my mom grew up in pusan, south korea, a poor girl who lost both of her parents by the time she was through with grade school.  though she still had some extended family around, by the time she was fourteen years old, she was on her own, trying to survive.  there are a lot more details i'll leave out for the sake of room and the fact that it isn't my story to share here...but from this difficult beginning, she somehow ended up in long beach, california by the time she was twenty-five and met my dad.
my dad grew up in fillmore, california, the second youngest of five children.  his parents were strong christians, his father having grown up on a homestead in nebraska before moving to california, and his mother in toronto. they were modest in their living, cared about important things and loved well. 
sometimes i try to imagine my parents when they were each children and how far of a gap there was between them when they were young - no one but God could've fathomed or imagined how such a gap could be crossed.  but with time and divine purpose, this gap shrunk an impossible measure.  through adversity, circumstance and the sovereign hands of a grace-filled God,  they ended up in the same restaurant in long beach.  that first meeting turned into a friendship, then a dating relationship, then marriage and a family.
as my parents sat next to one another in our living room that night, i noticed how meshed together they were.  with thirty-seven years of marriage under their belts, they are so mixed into one they seem to be of their own new culture. hapa was in the making a long time ago, before i was even born.  their unique "mixture" was mended together by the grace of God and this grace is the glue that holds them together still.
it's no wonder that the author of this story is Jesus, the one and only, who alone can bridge a distance as far as the east is from the west and then make something new from it.


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