Eugene Cho

holy crap

mondays are my days off.  a chance to rest, sabbath, and enjoy family.

i begin my workweek on tuesdays.  i feel so privileged to work alongside incredible people.  i feel like a glutton because how many people can say they are working in their ‘dream job’? however, this past tuesday proved to be a pretty crappy start to the week.

after arriving at the church (which simultaneously functions as a non-profit cafe), i went to the restroom to take care of some personal business only to find a crapload of poop. 

yes…poop.  dung.  doo-doo. poo-poo.  feces.  #2. brownies. 

it was pretty nasty.  it was smeared on the toilet seat along with couple artistic strokes on the wall and floor.  suddenly, i didn’t want to poop.  let’s be honest. if i was anywhere else, i would have just walked out.  but this is our church.  this is our space, our cafe, our sanctuary, our 2nd home, etc.  so for the next 20 minutes or so, i began my week by cleaning crap.  yummy.  i really wished one of the other male staff was present so i could have abused my authority to force them to clean the mess but george was in georgia and david was on a flight back from thailand.  darn!

long story short, one of the homeless men that we’ve given grace to enjoy our space abused that privilege.  in the past couple years, we’ve developed a love/hate relationship with the homeless community.  that in itself would be a very long post and a half.  we love them.  honestly do.  we care for them and their well being but honestly, everything time i or one of the other staff have to clean crap (literally or metaphorically), it is so very tempting to say, ‘i’ve had enough of the crap,’ and close the doors, raise the walls, build the moat, and call ADT.  now, i want you to know, i’m not just referring to the homeless community. i’m referring to just situations or circumstances that make ministry complex or uncomfortable.

this really serves as a broken example of our church’s attempt to be missional.  to be the church and not simply do church.  but i will say this:  sometimes, it is really really really hard.  but being missional means to attempt to be a presence, love your neighbors, honor the poor and oppressed, beautify and elevate the ethos of the culture and community around you, and ultimately, live out your faith – crap and all.

so, it’s been a bit of a crappy week.  but through it all and through our very broken lives and attempt to ‘be  the church’, i pray and long for the Living God to redeem our crap.

holy crap.

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One Response

  1. poop whisperer says:

    hey… dave and i cleaned up seven separate pieces of poop in the covered car port! one was still soft!!! >:T

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One Day’s Wages

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Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer. Seattle. 7:00pm. Desperately holding on to summer. #goldengardenpark #nofilter

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