Eugene Cho

“love and generosity and…loyalty.”

jubyschool

My oldest child is now in middle school and with that comes new adventures as a family. I’m extremely proud of her for many reasons.

One reason is because of her creative spirit. Here’s a poem she wrote recently (after we returned from our vacation in Nebraska in late summer). I’m clearly biased but it’s beautiful and moving.

Her poem is entitled, I am From. And now…she is published:

I am from hot summers in Nebraska,

slithering snakes,

big mouth bass jumping,

the mellow sunset,

and the sight of deer leaping.

I can feel the slimy gills of a fish,

And the sand oozing through my toes.

The hot sun burning on my skin,

and the excitement when I feel a tug on my rod.

I am from Korean food,

always eating Kim-Chee,

sometimes roast beef,

and rice carefully wrapped by dry seaweed.

The stove burning,

And my stomach grumbling,

And the smell of cooking dumplings.

I am from a family of 5.

a dad who travels,

goes on facebook,

and says “You’ll always be my little baby.”

A mother who encourages and cares,

and sings me to sleep.

An annoying brother and sister,

but also precious siblings.

I am from a family full of

sympathy,

apologies after teasing,

love and generosity,

and also lots of loyalty.

I am from a family who celebrates New Years Eve,

and Lunar Year.

Wearing colorful Hanboks,

and getting special blessings.

Everyone eats rice cake soup,

and everyone laughing and giggling.

I am from friends saying bye-bye and leaving,

And sometimes betrayal.

Or my grandpa saying “Ohhh… this is no good.”

I am from a family who prays for each other,

and cares for one another.

I’m not from a violent family,

nor a mean family either.

A kind and the best family is where I’m from.

And I’m proud of it.

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31 Responses

  1. I would agree – beautiful and moving. What a testimony to the love in your family. Enjoy and relish every moment.

  2. David says:

    What a beautiful poem. It’s obvious that she loves and is loved

  3. your friend says:

    What a treasure!
    I am touched by her heart.

  4. Jeff Lam says:

    i’m teaching a 6-week long unit on writing poetry to juniors & seniors, and i gotta say jubilee is ready to show some of my students how it’s done.

  5. dan k says:

    wow.. that is extremely beautiful.
    she is very talented, and i hope she never stops writing..

  6. mellocello says:

    what a special young woman.

  7. Rebecca says:

    Wow…not only is she a prodigy, but she has a sweet and gentle spirit. She’s a blessing, and has great parents.

  8. pjchris says:

    Oh my goodness…brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this gift with us.

  9. jHong says:

    “a dad who… goes on facebook.” wow. she knows you so well!
    😀

  10. Eugene Cho says:

    @jHong: yeah, i grounded her for that.

    it should have read:

    a dad who prays, fasts, reads the Bible 24 hours, and is a hip hop mogul by night.

  11. Bo says:

    This is one of the most beautiful and profound things I’ve read lately. And I’m a theology prof!

  12. healthypartygirl says:

    I am blown away! That’s a lot of talent for a girl her age. I really enjoyed that poem and I am surrounded by poets and writers all the time, so good on her 🙂

  13. Can I just say that she’s in my youth group? Yes, she is and she rocks! 😀

  14. Brian Berry says:

    eugene:

    from one middle school parent to another, I’m proud with you and for you. Sleep well my friend, God is alive and clearly working in your life and family. We both already know this… but I will say it’s moments like this that remind me how rich we truly are. This days wage has no price tag- it is pure joy.

    Brian

  15. gar says:

    wow! impressive.

    official teacher BAME grade:

    “exceeds expectations”

    😉

  16. Teresa says:

    Phenomenal. What a gift! Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us. A beautiful poem, and a beautiful glimpse into a well-loved child.

  17. Melody Hanson says:

    She has confidence, self awareness, pride, culture, goodness, love.
    Thank you for sharing it.

  18. Very sweet sir.

    God Bless your daughter!

  19. georgesong says:

    it’s been an honor watching jubilee grow-up! you guys have done an awesome job of raising her… looking forward soon to her writing your rap lyrics.

  20. Glennis says:

    So sweet! This needs to be framed 🙂

  21. Hannah says:

    wow 😉 look fwd to an anthology of poetry from this young one someday!

  22. Andy Wade says:

    Amazing! What a gifted daughter and wonderful family! I look forward to meeting the rest of your clad in the future. In the mean time, it was a gift to finally meet you face to face, Eugene. Blessings to you and yours and may the Lord continue to guide and move your steps into his creative future!

  23. Joseph Lee says:

    “I am from Korean food,
    always eating Kim-Chee,”

    Awesome.

  24. That is so wonderful. You must be so proud.

  25. this is such a well written, lovely poem. your daughter is an aspiring writer!

  26. Nourisha says:

    she’s a star. great poem. and how awesome for a preteen to feel that way about her family. either you’re doing something right or the hormones having kicked in yet. hahaha.

  27. Lovely poem and an even lovelier, tanlented daughther. 🙂

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One Day’s Wages

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41 years ago today, our family immigrated to the United States from Seoul, South Korea. I was six years old; the youngest of three sons. My father, when he was also six, fled from what is now known as North Korea. Just recently, he shared with me that he and some of his family had been in a refugee camp when war and violence broke out on the Korean peninsula. It's emotional thinking about what my brothers and I went through coming to a completely foreign country. It wasn't easy. And then, I think about what my parents had to go through:

They fled their homes near Pyongyang which also meant leaving some of their extended families.

They experienced unfathomable hunger and poverty.

They experienced the pain of war.

They immigrated again to the United States as adults with minimal resources and a handful of English words.

All in hopes that their children would have the opportunities that were never afforded to them.

I'm thinking of my brothers today. I'm thinking of my parents and honoring them for their sacrifice and tenacity. And finally, I'm thinking of refugees and immigrants all around the world that are yearning for family, peace, hope, and opportunities. Don't reduce Martin Luther King Jr. to a yearly quote on social media. Live out the dream. Seek first the Kingdom of God. Confront evil. Be a truth-teller. Seek justice. Love mercy. Pursue reconciliation. Build bridges. Love your neighbors. Forgive your enemies. Pray unceasingly. Live a committed life of peace, love, and justice.

The God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today.

Be brave. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here's the full context of his famous quote: "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that." An important word for the Church... Oh, how God loves the nations. The Scriptures make this so clear. No one - let alone, the leader of a country - should ever disparage other nations with such a disgusting comment.

To the beautiful people of Haiti, El Salvador, and of the many countries of Africa: We are so sorry. Please accept our apologies on behalf of President Trump.

I've had the privilege of being in Haiti twice and numerous countries in Africa including Kenya where I took this picture during an afternoon drive near Kijabe. In many of these visits, I witnessed such creativity, courage, leadership, hospitality and kindness. To follow Jesus without obedience, repentance, self-denial, and dying to self is an oxymoron. In other words, are we more in love with the idea of following Jesus than actually following Jesus?

Grateful for an incredible Sunday at @seattlequest of beginning our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting.

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