How are you? I’m well.
On November 30, my mom and I had a doctor’s appointment in the hospital where she was last year. At that time, they found out an ulcer in her main artery. She had no pain, nor other symptom so that the doctor wanted to follow-up just by an annual CT. So, we went there for CT one week before the doctor’s appointment. Then, on the day when we planned to see the doctor, my niece wanted to see us for a short while in the hospital, as she planned to work from home and her place is near from the hospital. I also wanted to catch up with her in person, to give her some desserts that I showed her through our family zoom meeting on the previous week. Then, I thought of buying a gift for her birthday, as it is December 5th. Last year, I ordered an online gift coupon for TWG tea, a premium Singaporean tea, as I remember she loved it when I bought it from Singapore. We didn’t meet often last year so that I ordered an online gift coupon and sent it via text message. Since we planned to meet around her birthday, I wanted to prepare for her gift to surprise her. I thought of TWG tea again, but more importantly dates from Israel. She once traveled to Israel and she loved foods there. Both she and I love Middle Eastern foods. For dates, I got to know there are different kinds of dates on the other side of the world. In Korea, we have dates and in our old family house mom planted a date tree so that we ate its fruits every year. But, ours is a little bit hard and not that sweet. Then, when I lived in Singapore, a Singaporean couple gave me a box of Israeli dates from their trip to Israel. So, I got to know there are different kinds of dates from ours and I loved the Israeli dates. I can’t forget how much I loved them, when I first ate them. After that, I found out dates from Middle Eastern countries in the grocery in Singapore and later locally produced ones in California when I visited my sister. Now I also see dates from Middle Eastern & African countries and the USA available in Korean online grocery stores and some of offline stores, too. After tasting a few from different countries, I found Israel wins! Though the Israeli date price is the highest, I began to buy Israeli dates from this autumn for mom and to bless Israeli farmers. And I thought I would buy them for my niece’s birthday present together with the tea. So, I ordered both online to be delivered to my place and I bought a wrapping paper in a nearby grocery store.
Then, when we met in the hospital, I gave her birthday present wrapped in a pretty paper. After I met mom’s doctor, we went to the food court in the hospital. It is my joy to get some foods from there and the previous week, I found out a new store to sell a Korean dessert, walnut pie and peanut pie. And this store is a really good maker of the pie. I said to the Father earlier, “This is once in a year or two. Hehe…,” as I’ve been trying to keep on a healthy diet. My niece is also on a healthy diet, but she also loves walnut pie and peanut pie. So, after I took away a few bags of pies for us, we said good-bye and went home. Later, my niece texted me, saying this is the best walnut pie she has ever had. And she said she was grateful to our Father for her sweet family and she was grateful for her grandma and me. And she said she felt the Father’s holy, pure and mighty love pour out on her through her family. Then, she shared her recent health problem. While exchanging texts with her, I felt the wall I still had between us in my heart fall down and I felt compassionate to her. I still kept some distance in my heart toward her, even after she apologized for what she had done in the past. Of course, I forgave her, yet I knew my heart toward her was not the same as before the incident.
Then, the next morning when I had breakfast with mom, she texted me, after she opened her birthday gift, saying:
“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! You know what’s crazy? A month ago, a church member gifted staff with fresh Korean dates and last week I kept thinking of Middle Eastern dates and how chewy they are. Then, the previous night I was in a prayer circle with internationally based students and the girl leading was in Morocco and all I could think of was dates, so I prayed God would be that nation’s sweetest delight. Then, yesterday I got a sandwich and soup that were so good that the herbs and produce were like quality only found in Israel. I was SO SHOCKED to open your gift but even more to see they’re Israeli dates!!! Thank you and may the Lord bless you!”
I was amazed and amused by the goodness of our Father. I knew how she felt, as He satisfied my desires through others unexpectedly and timely. And now, He used me to be His vessel of His love toward my niece. Of course, I didn’t know she had been thinking of dates at all. But He orchestrated everything including the timing of her receiving the gift and thinking of Israeli foods. How marvelous and how kind He is! He knows every single detail of us and indeed He counts our hairs. Exchanging texts with my niece over the last couple of days, I really felt that He loves each and every one of His children. And it includes my niece, too. He is no respecter of person. Just as He loves me so much, He loves my niece, too. Seeing His love toward her, I began to open my heart toward her. Since I moved to my new place which is spacious enough to invite her for meals, I kept debating as to whether I would invite her on Christmas or our Lunar New Year holidays coming in next Jan. So far, I had an excuse in my heart that my place is too small to invite her. Yet, I know it was an excuse. So does our Father. Keeping debating on that, I knew I would obey Him, if He wants me to open my place to her. Even though unwillingly, I knew I would obey Him. Yet our Father is so kind that He didn’t let me do it unwillingly or grudgingly for the sake of obedience. He made me taste and see how good He is toward my niece, too, using me to be a vessel to share His love with her. And He reignited the love I had toward her through our texts. Then, in a week or so, my sister in California and I exchanged texts and she seemed to hear some stories on my niece from my eldest sister. The story as to how she was changed and how precious she realized her family was, when we didn’t talk to one another since 2018. My sister didn’t share details, but told me to hear the story from my niece in person. Then, she said that both my eldest sister and my niece know how much I loved my niece and nephew and they all appreciate me for the love. In reading her texts, my eyes welled up with tears. I was even more grateful to the Father. He didn’t force me to obey Him and open my heart toward my eldest sister and my niece. He is a Gentleman, just like our Lord Jesus. He simply melted my heart. Though I knew I would obey Him at the end of the day, He made me realize He is our loving Father to each and every one of us. It would give Him pains, if His children don’t love one another. But, we can please Him, when we love one another. I’m grateful as I felt His love toward my niece in me. Finally, I invited her to my place for Christmas.
Our Father sees you through. He loves you just as He loves my niece and me. We taste and see that the LORD is good. It’s my prayer that we are a vessel to share His love and goodness with others and all of us praise His loving kindness and tender mercies. We walk in love, just as He showed us through Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Have a bliss!
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4~7)