Life in the End Times

Shin's gift to Annie on their One Year Anniversary

Doctor Phobia

Filed under: Just Writing — Annie at 3:14 pm on Tuesday, November 7, 2006

I have a phobia about unethical doctors and bad hospitals. It may stem, more so, from a fear of male doctors. Even when I watch Baby Story on TLC I observe the doctors words and body language very carefully. I imagine a doctor willing to appear on television is going to be on good behavior, but there are many unseen things on a television show.

Shin and I happen to know someone in the medical field who spoke candidly about what he saw in surgery. He mentioned he wouldn’t send his wife to a particular birth doctor after seeing the way that doctor sewed up a c-section. After a c-section, the incision has to be sewn carefully, with fat layers matching fat layers, and skin with skin, etc. Otherwise it can result in a lifetime of pain for a woman. Apparently, that guy just sewed the woman up sloppily. I’m terrified I may need a c-section and end up in the wrong hands.

Well, we just got health insurance and I had to find a doctor. I also went through this when I was pregnant. Trying to find a doctor by name or by hospital. So I spent the last two hours finding female doctors that are part of Cedar Sinai, because they’re a reputable hospital, and then verifying that they’re board certified on the American Board website. Then, by the date of their certification, or their lack of renewing their certification, I approximated their ages. I went from 14 names to 4. I called those last 4 and only 2 were available.

The last two names were easy to decide from because one of the doctors had a preference for new patients that were from a non cedar-sinai insurance. I don’t know her reasoning for that but I felt intuitively that I wouldn’t want to be treated by someone with that kind of clause. I’m hoping for the best. Without knowing anyone I could get a personal referral from, I used the info that was available and tried to make the best, informed decision.

It’s such a wild card, and I’m not sure it is really even possible to know. After I went through all the effort of changing primary care physicians 2 times (the first was because he was an endocrinologist and not in internal medicine. The second was because after the switch happened, I called and they weren’t accepting new patients) I tried making an appointment for a routine physical and she’s not available for the next 5 months. What the heck.

*Sigh I wish it were all simpler

Kam Harvest at Moorpark

Filed under: Just Writing — Annie at 1:07 am on Sunday, November 5, 2006

One of my aunts and uncles live in Moor Park. They invited us to their home to eat Korean food, pick fruits from their trees, and to eat my uncle’s tri-tip steak. The first thing we did when we got there, after greeting everybody, was to put on straw hats, and climb up to the trees with a bag in one hand and garden clippers in the other.

I thought it was interesting how consumerism and nature go hand in hand.

I picked a few but I was grossed out by all the prodigious ants. Once you cut a fruit they swarmed all over the top. I caught a glimpse of the branches and they were in a flurry back and forth. Luckily, they weren’t the type to bite people. So I felt safe going in between the branches long enough to have some pictures taken.

I caught site of the ant hole in the ground.

After that brief encounter with nature, Shin did all the work. He climbed the tree to reach the highest fruit and to relieve the branches of their burden.

My mom insisted we take kams for everybody: my inlaws: parents, grandparents, people at church, whomever. My mom was so happy about all the organic fruit and the people she could share them with.

There was so much to go around.

Even the kids helped out.

Afterwards we ate dinner and played some soccer-volleyball on a makeshift court.

In addition to harvest time, it also happened to be several important occasions. My sister, Jean, introduced her fiance, Steve, to the family.

It was also my oldest aunt’s 67th birthday.

This aunt is the eldest of my aunts and uncles. She’s grandma to 10+ kids. I finally took the time to write down their names so I won’t forget next time. The first set of kids are Michelle, Steven, William. The second set are Jane, Katie, James. The third set are Eric, Esther, Edward. And I have to check the fourth set of kids because they weren’t there.

Shin and I expected to babysit them, like the last time we came, so we picked up some Coca Cola Blak for a boost. But it turned out they had a superior babysitter

We all had a really a good time.

Two Decisions

Filed under: Just Writing — Annie at 6:16 pm on Wednesday, November 1, 2006

I have a friend S~ that comes to my church. She hasn’t been at our church very long. Maybe it’s been almost 3 months. I’ve been giving her weekly driving lessons. Mostly we start around 6:10AM and drive till 7AM. She’s taking her test tomorrow morning at 8AM. We hear that the Culver City DMV is one of the hardest to get your license at so we’ll see. I’m excited for her.

She rents a room out from this woman. This woman heard that S~ was getting driving lessons from me and one day S~ called me, asking apologetically, and nervously, as though another imposing person were present, “Do you think you could give driving lessons to the lady who cleans our house?”

It was a shocking request and also exciting. I welcome these opportunities to meet strangers and help people out, which I consider to be part of my life work. But then, I wasn’t sure I wanted to, make another time and work commitment. I wasn’t even finished giving lessons to S~ and we’re moving out shortly. So I told her I would think about it, and call her back.

I went through both positive and negative thoughts. If I agreed, then it would be a witness to the cleaning lady and truly benefit her life. On the other hand, what was the motive of the landlady who was requesting it? Why couldn’t she teach the lady herself? How come she was requesting this for free without consideration for my time? Does the landlady stand to benefit in some way? Did she hear I was a Christian and was she trying to manipulate me?

It feels like a manipulative request because I feel pressured to be a door mat. I feel pressured to prevent her from slandering Christians if I turn down her request.

This brought up so many questions for me to think about. Questions like:
If I know that the cleaning lady needs her drivers license, does it matter what I think of the landlady? Do I stand my ground on principles and deny the cleaning lady in doing so? Do I even need a valid reason to say no? Not really. But that’s how the world would handle it. “Just say no” to anything that doesn’t make you feel good.

I’m giving free lessons to S~ because she’s my friend, yes, I want her to experience the love and generosity of God. That’s why its strange if I deny that to the cleaning lady. Do I show favoritism by extending myself to one but not the other? Or only what is in my resources? The thing is, I would consider taking it on if I got paid for it.

Ironically, her good friend, A~,who I’m also friends with, asked me for driving lessons too, after the landlady asked. My instinct is to go in order of fairness. The cleaning lady asked first, so I should help her, and then A~. That decision is not relationship based. It’s justice based. So, what is correct? To honor relationship or fairness?

In the Old Testament, God exemplified relationship-based priority and fairness at the same time. He had a Jewish nation that he chose and loved. Whenever he blessed his own people he took something away from the Gentiles. But he had an underlying Law foremost, that the Jews had to follow to be eligible for his blessings. And then later he was able to offer his blessings to the Gentiles after fulfilling the law. Jesus was the only one who could fulfill the law because he was as perfect as the lawgiver. So, when he died, he redeemed all sinful people so that we could be related to God through Jesus. We were adopted as sons through Jesus’ fulfillment of the covenant.

If I applied that formula directly to this situation, then S~ is a Jew, and the cleaning lady is a Gentile. I have expectations that in order to share my resources, I need to have a relationship with that person, otherwise, I expect to be paid for my time. I don’t have a relationship with the cleaning lady so it’s hopeless unless someone were to bring me into relationship with the cleaning lady. If she were a friend of S~, I might consider. In actuality, she is related to S~ because she’s an employee of a landlady. That makes S~ the Jew and the Redeemer. When Jesus died to bring Gentiles into God’s promises, he didn’t die for people he knew directly. He died for everyone who was an enemy of the cross; sinners.

The issue isn’t whether or not I’m able to say no. I am capable of calling her and saying, “No. I’m sorry, I can’t do it.” The issue is about how to be Christlike and how to carry myself with non-believers so that God’s is shown as holy.

So, what happened is that I couldn’t decide that same day, so I asked for a week to think about it and ask for God’s wisdom. He is faithful and replied with scripture to me AND to Shin. Here is what I read:

2 Corinthians 9:6-15
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”
Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Then, this morning Shin said, “Read this” and put the Bible in my hand and this is what it said:
Luke 6:27-38
But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

The neat thing about these verses is that there’s no wrong decision. But there is a more blessed decision of the two because God provides the seeds for sowing and the bread for strength and he returns a greater measure of goodness to those who show goodness to others.