Me and my umma

As we see images of Asian mothers and grandmothers brutally attacked in the street, including 2 Asian women who stabbed in San Francisco this past week, we give thanks for the countless ways they have loved and cared for us and future generations, even if those acts of love are overlooked.

— — — — — — — —

Holy God who is Mother,
your love is vast and infinite-
taking many forms,
grabbing hold of our hearts in countless ways.

On this day when we celebrate our mothers, we praise you for Asian mothers, whose mothering was granted to…


*Note about language: The White House has put out a statement that names May as AANHPI (Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) Heritage month. Some simply use the term AAPI, which I have used in the past. This year, I am trying to be more intentional about naming the realities of the South Asian community, particularly in the context of my own space of leadership (the church I’m pastoring) so am using the term APIDA instead, while also recognizing the term “Desi” is also not fully inclusive and not accepted by all in the South Asian community.

In general, it…


image from College of Lake County

Written by Erina Kim-Eubanks for Bethel Community Presbyterian Church, during APIDA (Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi American) Heritage Month in May 2021. Based on Psalm 139:14, and written in connection with this poem.

ONE
Creator God,
Your works are wonderful and we know that full well

MANY
You see us all as beloved children,
Created with intention, held in grace, precious in your sight.

ONE
As our Asian American community is seen as a virus,
a peril, a threat to be eliminated

MANY
Remind us that you see our bodies as sacred. …


Artist Unknown

Oh God of the storm,
the swells are too much.

We are tiny boats in an unending sea
of furious, thrashing violence.
We’ve forgotten what peace feels like.

Every day we are tossed by another surge-
more names of babies being killed,
more sites where the ordinary turns to tragedy,
more children being torn from their families,
more elders seen as a virus to be eliminated.

The weight of it all is breaking us-
sinking our spirits
drowning our dreams,
destroying our families,
disorienting us from where we’re supposed to go.

Would you arise in authority!
Give us a reason to have faith again.
Usher in your prevailing peace,
show us that every storm must end.

We want to be wowed by your power
instead of our own capacity for bloodshed.

Amen.


Daunte Wright Image courtesy of Katie Wright

If I,
a Korean American woman,
am this weary
of
being outraged,
saying “How long, oh Lord,”
more trending hashtags,
new names to remember and say,
another precious life taken too soon,
mamas having to grieve in front of cameras,
children robbed of entire lifetimes with their parents
wondering who in my life it could have been,
the inevitable gaslighting, excuses, blame,
calls for peaceful protest,
cries of bad apples and “accidental discharge”
instead of indicting a system damned from the beginning,

I wonder how tiring it feels to be Black in America, to know that every single day white…


Me and my sister + cousins, potentially during a family 계날

(Written after reading that 유영애, one of the Atlanta shooting victims, was killed while opening the door at the spa.)

Our ancestors are familiar with
the power of circles-
alternate economies flowing
with giving and receiving,
lending and borrowing,
serving and being served,
in the confidence that the gifts always return,
everyone receives their fill.

And yet we have settled in a land
of impenetrable hierarchy-
stark lines and staggering ladders
demanding that we progress, climb,
and grasp for scarce gifts
that never come back.

We are too familiar with opening doors for others only to become collateral damage, taken…


“Tolerance” by Juan Carlos Chavarría- Artpiece made from old guns

Creator God-
your creation is hurting.

Our bodies are pierced by violence,
our land is riddled with bullet shells,
our eyes are unnerved by images of horrified, bloodied faces,
our ears are tired of hearing, “the suspect has been identified,”
our hearts are heavy from grieving grandmothers and children,
co-workers and friends.

We call this violence senseless,
yet know it makes complete sense
for who we are and the path we’ve chosen.

So we cry out, “How long, oh Lord?
How long!”

How long must we see the desecration of what is sacred, feel the shallowness of “thoughts and prayers”…


“Mary and Martha” by He Qi

Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee-
from the liminal places-

You are familiar with the pangs of judgment
in declarations of where you are “from.”
You are acquainted with the unceasing violence
of an Empire which demeans your status,
a religious institution that labels you a threat,
and a society that crucifies your flesh
as a scapegoat.

You also know what it means to have your
belly lavishly fed,
feet lovingly washed,
body skillfully tended to,
burial clothes thoughtfully prepared,
existence generously supported,
by women. …


For All of Us: A Prayer for International Women’s Day

God who created us very good,
every day is a day to celebrate
the splendor, the wonder
of all of us-
women.

For all that we carry-
water on our heads,
babies in our wombs,
the legacy of our ancestors,
dreams for future generations,
we ask for strength in our bones
and love for our own frames.

For all that we raise-
the children of our villages,
communities of resilience,
resistant hands,
defiant voices-
we ask for the courage to keep asserting
and a world that honors our being.

For…


small, pink blossoms on the sidewalk, fallen from a tree

I saw these small fallen blossoms on a morning walk and they felt fitting for this Ash Wednesday, when we remember the freedom that comes from remembering we are dust, yet God knows and cherishes us.

Since I began engaging the Lenten season over a decade ago, it’s always been hard for me. Fasting food brings up a lot of issues for me, and I would usually fail and give up 2/3 of the way in. I always felt obligated to fast without really understanding why or locating desires behind it, and the Enneagram 3 in me always pushed me…

Erina Kim-Eubanks

Co-Pastor @bethelcommunitysl | Director of Advocacy @fphayward | pastor, activist, writer | married to @eubanksme | co-author of @lentenlament | she/her

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store