You made the world,
And I feel like it’s against me.
Masses of people,
Yet I still feel so empty.
You gave me anger,
Doubt, and self-loathing;
My burdens are heavy.
You gave me two hands,
To touch and to feel,
But I use them to strike,
Strangle, and steal.
I know You might love me,
But I’m numb; I can’t feel.
I just ask for a sign,
Please. Please show me You’re real.
I made the world,
You can see Me all around you.
In the midst of the chaos,
I reached out and found you.
I gave you my peace,
My grace and My love.
In the midst of your shortcomings,
These things are enough.
I gave you two hands,
Clasp them in prayer,
Be still and know,
I will always be here
3,000 dollars. Every day, my mother would pray for 3,000 dollars. Both she and my father had worked at a deli in the federal building in downtown Seattle for seven years. They both worked their butts off to support three kids, all aspiring to go to college, including myself. She had always told me, “Shane, if we could make 3,000 dollars every day, that would be enough.” And she prayed for it, every. single. day. Being the young kid that I was and still am, I didn’t really have a grasp on how much 3,000 dollars was and what it actually meant. But they worked so incredibly hard.. It confused me as to why God wasn’t answering my mother’s prayers.
When the building owners told my parents they were going pretty much kick them out for renovation purposes last month, you could imagine the shock and devastation that went through our minds. My father, a man I have always looked up to as a little kid, broke down in tears in front of us in a moment of pure hopelessness for our whole family. It was in that moment that I realized there was nothing I could do to solve my parents’ problems. It was all up to God. And He was quick to remind us that He was on our side.
In the following weeks, my parents received an overwhelming amount of support from the community. A civic organization called the Korean American Coalition rallied around my parents, accusing the building owners of what they thought was racial discrimination. After my parents told their customers about their situation, they too rallied around my parents, emailing the building owners every day, pressuring them to provide more information and assistance, while sending my mom and dad letters and notes of encouragement. A number of local newspapers and news stations interviewed my parents and made the story public, which only put more pressure on the building owners to better assist my parents. All the while, my family and I, being the die-hard Seattle sports fans that we are, were so excited by the Seahawks’ season it that we didn’t have time to be distraught by the situation anymore; we were too busy cheering on our team, as they eventually won the Super Bowl.
Inevitably, however, my parents were still forced to move out on the Friday following the Super Bowl. Two days before my parents’ move-out day, the Seahawks were having their Super Bowl parade. Over 700,000 fans flooded the streets of downtown Seattle. My parents’ restaurant, on its second to last day of existence, was filled with waves of people waiting in line to order food. The deli had never been close to being that busy before. The line of people, dressed in blue and green, zigzagged around the tables of the restaurant and extended outside and around the building. My parents weren’t prepared for this chaos; the deli quickly ran out of ingredients, including basic sandwich constituents like bread. Still, it got to the point where customers didn’t care and simply ordered whatever my parents could make with whatever ingredients were left. And this was all happening on a day where my parents needed to get rid of everything. What was supposed to be a very trying and tumultuous time for our family turned out to be one filled with encouragement, inspiration, and excitement. In hindsight, we have only God to thank for that.
As of right now, the building owners are diligently trying to help our parents find a new location because of all the pressure put on them by the community. My parents have continually received emails and letters of support from former customers. In addition, they took their first vacation in years. Every morning, my parents have been waking up full of energy, and full of hope; they have God on their side, and they know it.
After the Seahawks parade last week came to a close and the dust finally settled, my mother, as she would do every day, went into her little office at the back of the restaurant and counted the money. For the first time ever, they had made just over 3,000 dollars. She couldn’t help but let out a smile. God is answering my mother’s prayers. Just not in the way we expected.
I don’t remember much about what was going on in my life eight years ago. I don’t remember how I was doing in school. I don’t remember which girl(s) I had a crush on. I don’t remember what kinds of problems my family was dealing with. Those things aren’t important to me now.
What I do remember very vividly is that almost exactly eight years ago, I was sitting in the living room with my dad and my older brother, watching the Seahawks NFC Championship game against the Panthers. I remember Paul Allen raising the 12th Man flag. I remember high-fiving and embracing my brother and my dad after every touchdown. I remember celebrating as our team sealed the victory. I remember Shaun and Matt holding up the George Halas trophy; we were going to the Super Bowl. I was a young Seahawks fan; I thought that moment would last forever.
It’s been a long time since then. Even as a young fan, I sat through some ugly moments and witnessed some equally amazing ones. I remember exactly what part of the couch I was sitting on and what position I was in just before Marshawn’s “Beast Mode” run. And I remember the two-man ruckus my dad and I created as it happened. I have no idea what happened the next day. or the next.
Over the past month or two, my family has been going through something of a financial crisis. My parents work at a deli in a building in downtown Seattle. They recently got kicked out by new building owners seeking to renovate the building, which has put them in a scramble to find a new job. It’s safe to say things haven’t been easy for us. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have been having an incredible season, filled with improbable comebacks, explosive plays, and graceful belly dances. Practically all we talk about in our family is the Seahawks. The sheer excitement this season has brought not only to us but to this entire city has helped us to, at times, forget our struggles and appreciate the fact that we can sit down and watch each game together, as a family. I don’t remember the problems we were going through eight years ago, but I do know that we’re here now, and we got through them.
Today, I watched the game with my dad and my little brother (my older one was at the game). We watched Paul Allen raise the 12th man flag. We high-fived and embraced each other after every touchdown. We celebrated as our team sealed the victory, and as Russell and Richard held up the George Halas trophy; we’re going to the Super Bowl. I’m still a young fan, but what I do know is this: these moments WILL last forever. I’m so grateful for my family, for this team, and for this city. Let’s go beat the Broncos!