Things My Dad Taught Me

So, I’m in the process of trying to see if I can phase out carrying around my laptop everywhere I go and try to do a bulk of my work (sermon writing, blogging, etc) on my iPad. After reading and researching blogging apps for the iPad, I finally decided to fork over 5 bucks and purchase blogsy. Yesterday, I tried blogging straight on the wordpress site and it ended with me losing the entire post. The wordpress app, though free, had horrible reviews, so I’m hoping that blogging with blogsy on my iPad will be easy and convenient. (I know, first world problems…)

I just also want to say that my dad is perfectly fine and is healthy and strong. I didn’t want people to start thinking something happened to my dad or anything like that, as I reminisce on the affects he had/has on me. Like I said, I wanted to test out blogging purely from the iPad yesterday and that frog story jumped out in my head. Same reason today.

I also want to remind you that we’re from a different culture–a culture where disciplining your children was expected and a sign of good parenting. There was a Korean saying that stated “Give the kids you hate candy and the kids you love the rod.” I’m always hesitant sharing stories about the ways (often creative ways) my dad disciplined me to my white friends, because more often than not, the stories are met with awkward laughter. I think they feel obligated to laugh because I’m telling it in a humorous way. But often they’ll respond with, “Your dad really did that to you?” And instantly, I regret telling them the story, because that was NOT the reaction I was looking for.

But amongst my Korean friends, we exchange stories of our being disciplined. “Your dad did that? That ain’t nothing! Let me tell you what my dad did” and back and forth we go, laughing to hide our deep pain. I’m totally kidding about the last part.

Anyway, I once got into real big trouble. I can’t remember how old I was, but I was fairly young. I had done something bad and gotten into trouble for it, but not big enough trouble to get a spanking. As my parents were using their stern voice on me, it started to rain. And my dad says, “See? You made God cry. So don’t do that again.”

I can’t tell you how I reacted to that piece of information. But I’m pretty sure, whatever it is I did, I never did it again. At least, not where my parents could find out…

I also remember when I was young, we were at the beach listening to the waves and my dad turns to me and says, “That’s the sound of God breathing…”

Looking back on my childhood, I really had no chance to escape from ministry…


Things That My Dad Taught Me

A Australian Green Tree Frog

It’s been raining quite a bit here in Southern California.
Last night, I was walking back to my apartment from our mail center and noticed all the frogs and toads croaking and remembered a story that my dad told me when I was little.

There once was a mama frog and her son.
The Son was not a good son and was disobedient and disrespectful to his mother. Everything she told him to do, the Son would do the opposite.
If she said, don’t play in the rain, he would go out and play in the rain.
If she said stay inside, he would go play outside. The Son had no regard for his mother and he constantly broke her heart.
The Mother was getting quite old now, and death was near. She begin to make arrangements for her burial, because the Son was nowhere around. She began to worry about what would happen to her body after she dies. She needed to be buried on land, but knowing her son and her experience with him, she became worried that he would do the exact opposite of her request. 

One day, she called him over and explained to him that she was going to die very soon. She told him that he needed to bury her body and instructed him to place her body in the river, anticipating that he would do just the opposite and bury her in dry ground. 

The time came, and the Mother passed on peacefully, leaving her son behind. The Son was anguished and wracked with guilt and grief. He began to regret the kind of son he was and wished he was a better, more obedient, son to her while she was still alive.
He decided, for once in his life, he was going to obey his mother’s wishes.

So he took her body to the river and gently placed her in shallow water. He sat nearby and watched the lifeless body of his mother and reflected on his regrets of the kind of son he was to her. It was then that it started to rain. And as the rain kept coming down, the waters kept rising. The Son didn’t know what to do. The waters kept rising and eventually, the Mother’s body was swept by the waters and floated down the river, forever lost.

The Son didn’t know what to do or how to react, so he just stood there crying and crying and crying, until the rain stopped. And from then on, every time it rained, the Son would go to the river, crying for his mother.

That is why, whenever it rains, the frog comes out and starts croaking. He’s remembering his mother and crying for her- always wishing that he was a better son to her when she was alive.

(Note: I can’t remember if this was just a bedtime story… or if my dad told me this story with a lesson that my dad told me after I got in trouble… )