I heard Desmond Tutu on the radio today, after the first couple of minutes I still didn’t really know what he was talking about (I think it was a forum on Kenya) but his voice was saturated with Joy. It was great. Knowing (but not understanding) the injustices he’s probably seen throughout his long life, it’s pretty amazing to hear someone speak with so much Grace and again, Joy.

   One night, when I was very young, I laid wide awake in my bed. My mind was racing a hundred miles an hour and in desperation I got up and went downstairs to where my dad was sitting, reading the newspaper. Sensing that something was amiss he sat me down next to him and asked, “What’s wrong Justin? Why are you still awake?”
   “Dad, I saw on TV today that there are kids starving overseas, that people are being mean to each other, killing each other for more and more and more things… it just seems like everyone is so sad and I can’t sleep tonight.”
He patted my head and said, in his strong and comforting (when it wasn’t scary) voice, “Son, don’t despair. Mourn and pray, but do not be afraid, do not lose Hope.
   “For you have two eyes, one to see clearly the present circumstances and the other to set firmly on the Good that is to come;
   Your brain is two parts, one half to dwell on the Grace that covers injustice, the other to imagine ways to set things right;
   You have two hands, the one to grasp the hem of His robe, the other to spread that Healing on to your neighbor;
   And finally, you have but one heart. While the rest of you was made to operate in two worlds and two times, your heart is meant to be in only One place. And son, while your heart is Home, it will be at rest, able to feel but not break, and hurt but not harden. Then when you see others in pain you will act quickly and cheerfully, you will love with a Love that uplifts, rather than a love that seeks repayment, that obligates and oppresses.”

   I looked up at him and there was laughter in his eyes. The Joy was augmented by the wrinkles that lined his face, fissures left by years of seeing and experiencing the full spectrum between great sorrow and great happiness. But the Joy and cheer dominated in his expression and for the time being I was comforted. With a great weight lifted from my shoulders I laid my head on his chest and fell asleep to the deep and steady beat of his heart.


~ by justinhong on September 2, 2008.

3 Responses to “”

  1. wow. did you write that? its very good. if you did, kudos 😀 if you didn’t then.. well… way to recognize good writing :)WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM SA?! i cant think of anything specific for you 😦

  2. @fAtZ –  girlfriend! i told roger too when he went to taiwan, but he didn’t bring me one home 😦

  3. if you wrote that… man, i’m blown away 🙂

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