Eugene Cho

a deeper appreciation of my father

Yesterday was Father’s Day and like many of you, I took some time to reflect upon my relationship with my father.

There’s so much to share. One thing I am convicted of is to strive to live without regrets in the relationships of my lives. I don’t want to be on my deathbed – many years from now – with regrets over relationships that I can impact, influence, and invest – now.

Some reflections of my relationship with my father:

Love Language

I love him immensely but never took the time or never learned how to express my love for him with my words. It was usually with my achievements.

“I love you”

But last summer, I finally managed to share with him how much I loved him. It took me nearly 39 years but it’s never too late.

A deeper appreciation

While I had my gripes, complaints, and issues, you gain a deeper understanding of someone when you find yourself in a similar role. While I still question some of the decisions of my parents, I am in awe of their commitment, sacrifice, and devotion and to this day, I ask myself:

How did they do it?

Aspiring to be like him

I admire him for the way he cared for us, for my mother; I admire the way he sacrificed so much to provide for the family – first through the US Army and then at his one and only job in the US as a self-educated engineer.

During my wedding, I shared with him and our guests that if I could just grow to be half the man he was, I’d consider myself a blessed man. I stand behind those words.

Together

During my teenage years, I wanted so much to be apart from them. Now, I can’t wait for the next time to be with them. In fact, we’re trying to convince them to move to Seattle and to live either with us or close to us.

We want to be together and especially want them to be close to their grandchildren.

Fishing with my Father

My fondest memory with my father as a young boy was going fishing with him. Everything I know about fishing I learned from my father. But during my teenage years, I became too cool for my father and no longer responded to his invitations to go fishing.

I guess it’s for that reason that I try to fish as much with my father as possible. Every year,I try to take couple weeks to spend some time with my parents and to especially continue the fiery debate with my father:

“Who is a better fisherman?”

In truth, it doesn’t matter. Just to be with him is a great testament of God’s grace in our relationship.

But if I were honest, he’s the better fisherman. And here’s the video to prove it. It was stunning to see him survey the water, cast it in the perfect place, and carefully bring in this fish.

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4 Responses

  1. abbiewatters says:

    Great fish! My father was also a fisherman, and most of the pictures we have of him in his early life are of “Papa and the Fish”.

  2. tom.fullmer says:

    I am not looking forward to those teenage years, but having been there I guess I shouldn’t expect anything different with my kids.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Cho, faithHighway. faithHighway said: RT @EugeneCho: Don't wait. Live without regrets over relationships that we can Impact, Influence, and Invest – NOW. ~ http://bit.ly/8XYpQ5 […]

  4. Don Ibbitson says:

    This was a hard article to read. My father passed in July of last year and this was my First Father’s Day without him. He was a good man and father but we were not real close. My best “memory” now is the phone call from my sister who told me received Christ. He died five days later and all the earthly memories would be for nought without that!

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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