Eugene Cho

There will come a time to hope but for now, we mourn. We lament.

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“…Mourn with those who mourn.” [Romans 12:15]

This picture.

Wailing.
Crying.
Disbelief.
Incredulity.
Oh no, not again.
Just utter pain.
Deep lament.

It hurts to just stare at this photo and even more so, to imagine the shrieks and intensity of this father’s deep scream.

For a moment, put aside your views, your “I told you so” comments, or your aspirations to be a political commentator.

For us – especially as Christians –
if our Black brothers and sisters in Christ are hurting
…If they are truly our brothers and sisters in Christ;
And if we are truly the Body of Christ as we profess
…may we mourn with them.
May we truly listen – even to the shrieking cries of a father and mother.

Mourn with those who mourn.
And in mourning, may we capture a glimpse of why so many are so hurt, crestfallen, and angry…

We mourn for the Brown family.
We mourn for Ferguson.
We mourn for our Black sisters and brothers.
We mourn – even – for Darren Wilson and his family.
We mourn for us. All of us.
We mourn for America.

There will come a time to hope…but for now, I mourn.
There will come a time to hope…but for now, we mourn.
We lament.

And may the Lord meet us in our mourning…

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” [Psalm 34:18]

If you read one more thing about Ferguson, I invite you to read this post by Rev. Dr. Liz Mosbo Verhage: “Call to Arms – Arm to Arm – After Ferguson. It’s written for you.

[photo credit: Reuters]

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21 Responses

  1. Bruce Strom says:

    Thank you! Too many commentaries going both ways that lose sight of the human tragedy regardless of facts and our need to mourn with our friends. Thank you for your example.

  2. Glori says:

    There are consequences to poor decisions, NO CONDEMNATION but always consequences,

  3. Michelle W. says:

    I find it hard to mourn for Wilson. But I trust your words. Yes, let’s mourn….

  4. Santes Beatty says:

    Well said my brother.

  5. cathy b says:

    “We mourn – even – for Darren Wilson and his family.” ?? A very disappointing post from a very wise man of God.

    I too mourn for Michael Brown parents, but I also mourn especially for Darren Wilson.

  6. Tia says:

    It’s scary how cut n dry this is to some people. Like the racial & socioeconomic context has nothing to do with it. Yes, I’ll seek to understand the law. A system that is KNOWN for it’s racial disparities. Yep, I’ll lean on my understanding of THAT law to help me arrive at an objective interpretation of M. Brown’s murder. Thanks for your wisdom

  7. Marcy says:

    As Christians, can we also try to understand the pain law enforcement and their families feel? Do you know many spouses and children are under protective custody tonight? Our society has gone insane. We cannot continue to be at war with one another. Listen DEEPLY. Hear each other’s hurts. Wounds must be cleaned not just patched over.

  8. Rick says:

    Sorry…but you lost me at the word “even.”

  9. Bret S. says:

    Ferguson wakes up angry every day, and should. And the white infrastructure of that judicial community is correctly under a microscope, and must change, and be racially representative of and accountable to the majority black population of that township.

    None of those necessities change the ugly forensic facts of the shooting, or compel the indictment of a cop doing his job. This is a tragedy all around, but the cop-whatever his skin color, or even his opaque bias in shooting when he did-was doing his job, and dealing with the hurried and muddled facts on the ground. We cannot punish or indict a man for the injustice he symbolizes. We can only judge the fact of what he did, and whether it was correct within the moral and professional parameters of his job

  10. Ignacio says:

    Mourn because he killed someone. It’s not to difficult to understand. Pastor didn’t say feel sorry for him but to mourn. There is a big difference!!

    • JPoole says:

      Mourn because his life is now changed forever, he has to live in fear for his own life. He killed someone because he was defending his own life, something most people would make the difficult decision to do as well.

  11. Shawn M. says:

    Eugene, why would you intentionally diminish the call to action for mourning with the Wilson family? I’ve watched your posts about Ferguson since day one, and it appears your bias for the Michael Brown family pits you against the Darren Wilson family. We shouldn’t have to muster extra strength to feel Officer Wilson’s pain.

    • Jake says:

      I have much more empathy for communities who have historically endured the oppression of white folks than I do for the pain (which is derived of white oppression in the first place) endured by said communities. I think we should understand the ultimate sadness is in the general picture this event uncovers

    • JPoole says:

      Shawn, 100% agree. I have attended Eugene’s church a few times looking for a Church home. I was taken aback by the subtle racist preaching I heard in those sermons, I thought possibly the first time i really didn’t hear the message, but the second time (this time an associate Pastor) it became quite clear the church is not a uniter under Christ but a divider.

  12. Adam S. says:

    EVEN Wilson? Wow, that man has lost his career, under constant threat of murder so yes. I also mourn for him.

  13. Nancy says:

    Brother Eugene has always been transparent with us all, and if “even” is how he feels, then I trust that he was led by the Spirit to mourn with all.

    Check the judgement in your hearts, brothers and sisters, and let the man own his own feelings.

    • JPoole says:

      Nancy, I believe you are misguided. Pastor Cho’s article below is not transparent, but heavily skewed towards his personal beliefs and bias. Claiming he doesnt know the facts of the case yet, gives no reason to write such a one sided skewed article supporting the false narrative the media has been portraying that this is a simple case of and unarmed black man being killed. All the facts are out, and it is clear this police officer was defending himself from a proven aggressive bully. The false narratives of being shot in the back and hands up were debunked by forensic and witness testimony.

      Yes, it’s tragic Michael Brown died, it was awful. While Wilson was tending to a sick African American baby, Brown was knocking off a store and bullying the store owner. A bully and a police officer crossed a tragic path moments later. One, who wakes up every day to help keep us safe crossed with a known bully and racist (google Browns rap lyrics). Wilson had never fired his weapon in the line of duty, but unfortunately had to that fateful day. Transparency should be supported by facts and given with a bias free and objective heart.

      https://eugenecho.com/2014/08/16/please-dont-ignore-it-five-ways-that-christians-and-churches-must-engage-michael-browns-death/

  14. Jonathan Nkwagu says:

    All our righteous&unrigteous acts,good deeds or misdeeds, justice&injustices are but momentral & have their just rewards from the Almighty.

  15. JPoole says:

    “Even for Wilson and his family”, biased and not genuine. The word “Even” automatically puts Cho in a position supporting the false narrative being spun by part of the media,

  16. […] especially with their engagement with Black Americans. As some of you may know, I’ve been a vocal supporter of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Yet, if we’re not wise and discerning, we can make a similar kind of tragic mistake by […]

  17. […] especially with their engagement with Black Americans. As some of you may know, I’ve been a vocal supporter of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Yet, if we’re not wise and discerning, we can make a similar kind of tragic mistake by […]

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One Day’s Wages

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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 Happy Birthday, Minhee! I'm so grateful for you. You radiate faith, hope, and love.  No...you don't complete me. That would be silly and simply humanly impossible but you keep pointing me and our family to Christ who informs and transforms our lives, marriage, family, and ministry. Thanks for being so faithful. I love you so much. (* And what a gift to be in Korea together.)

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