中秋:惦記無法團圓的人們

在美國慶祝中秋,惦記親友,也惦記正在聖所庇護的移民⋯⋯

剛開始Mission Year計劃不久,在費城的排屋與六個來自美國各洲的朋友住了兩星期,我終於成為了一個「少數族裔」,驚訝自己進入了全新的視角。發現自己從前自以為懂得與其他族裔共融的態度還是無法明白他們的心境,例如我其實並不想讓中國/香港文化大使成為別人第一個理解我的身份,但也同時發現很多類近中國/香港文化習俗的點滴會在我的反射動作呈現,又突然第一次感受到中秋節人月兩團圓的意義。中秋對我來說是重要的日子,在社區裡的中秋總有好多學習。上星期五我負責帶領同屋活動,還是費煞心思如何跟她們一起過中秋節。

我首先讓他們從中文字的形狀和模樣猜「人月兩團圓」的意思,再一起用家中找到的任何物料製作燈籠。最後我們一起唱Somewhere out there,這是我所想到最貼近人月兩團圓的一首英文歌,每次唱都會鼻酸。

Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight
Someone’s thinking of me and loving me tonight
Somewhere out there someone’s saying a prayer
That we’ll find one another in that dream somewhere out there
And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishin’ on the same bright star
And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky

唱完歌,我們亮起我們各人不同形狀和模樣的小小燈籠,然後在心裡惦記我們掛念的親友的名字。雖然只有我是從別國參加這個計劃,但同屋的友人們全都是與親友分隔兩地,尤其是我們現在在操練六星期的科技禁戒,每星期只有一天能用任何通訊方法與相識的人聯繫。這個操練的一個原因,是為了讓我們同屋的友人更赤裸的建立互相支持的團契關係,也是各人為了共同團結(solidarity)而自我犧牲 — — 如果大家隨時能聯繫親友而只有我要適應時差,那該有多痛苦!大家放棄原有的好處,自律自制,讓本來由我承受的最遠距離顯得平常,我的內心煎熬,由大家一起分嘗。唱完歌,不經意看到了友人靜靜抹去淚水。

其實我們大家都不知為何會那麼思鄉,那麼心酸。但這樣的心境,也讓我們更容易貼近其他真正受苦的人。我服侍機構New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia,九月初剛再陪同兩個家庭在教會尋求聖所庇護。幸有教會願意承擔風險高調地接濟,讓兩個家庭可以成為聖所庇護運動的參與者,承受風險而為自己及其他移民爭取家庭可以團聚。在特朗普毫無理性的政策下,他們每天都不肯定有沒有下一天的團聚。全美國也已有更多的家庭而被殘暴地撕開,將父母和幼兒分隔兩地。我們在禱告中,惦記自己親友之餘,也惦記這群移民,也許在那麼一個遠方,愛能穿透一切,夢真能成真……

Somewhere out there, if love can see us through
Then we’ll be together somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true

有關聖所庇護的兩個家庭的新聞:

 

最後我們亮起燈一起吃月餅。出奇地,相比起雙黃白蓮蓉,他們大多都較喜歡五仁月餅!還說覺得吃下去像土耳其baklava甜品。朋友問月餅有什麼意義,我本來不知所云。但經過那樣的流淚和禱告,平常覺得過份甜膩的月餅,原來才稍微中和到那些分離相思的苦澀。

謹以小小的分享送給大家,希望安慰每個無法與親友團圓的人(無論是因為地理距離還是內心的距離)。也願我們無論嘗到的是甜是苦,都成為我們與受苦者同行的力量。

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End of local orientation

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So these are the two Philly teams! when we were beaming in front of the bean we still had no clue of the one more intense local orientation week to go through… 😅 but now we’ve finally made it!!! 😃😆🎉🎉🎉 Thank y’all so much for showing up in my life. 😆

There’s so much to share that I will leave it to next Sabbath that we have break from tech fast because tomorrow is our first day at our service site. Good night! 😴

National Orientation: Soul x Activism?

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#chorcmissionyear : While I have been thinking so much about our soul / spirituality x action these few years, especially under the influence of YC and Szeto, so many people here in Mission Year have already practised it for long time. . Highlights of the national orientation: Reesheda asked, "How many of you put your brokeness in a seperate bag and left it at home before you came?" . Her sharing was so profound. We are bringing our brokeness to a community that is already ENOUGH. . We are not going there to change everything, but just to do life together, to shift the mundane to sacred. . She even talked about how we should beware not to hate or dehumanize the people in the institution even when pursuing justice, which is also something that I have been pondering for some time… . And then, in our last day of the orientation, @shawncasselberry led a communion. He put down lines of boundaries and seperation on the floor. And then asked us to be a bridge-builder, to tear down the seperation and paste a cross at other side of the floor. The cross not only signifies reconciliation between God and humanity, but also between humanity. . What struck me the most was this, "Jesus even defies the dichotomy of liberals / conservatives. He asked people who only care about personal salvation to love your neighbour, and the angry activists to love your enemy! He is building community right at the dividing lines.' . Two of them together wrote the book "Soul force: Seven pivots toward courage, community, and change", which sheds more light to this topic. . . (Sunday is the break of 6-week tech fast for me so I have a lot of things accumulated to share in one day. 😝) . #chorcwriting #chorcdoodle #missionyearjournal

A post shared by Chorsee (@chorseeing) on

 

While I have been thinking so much about our soul / spirituality x action these few years, especially under the influence of YC and Szeto, so many people here in Mission Year have already practised it for long time. .
Highlights of the national orientation:
Reesheda asked, “How many of you put your brokeness in a seperate bag and left it at home before you came?”
.
Her sharing was so profound. We are bringing our brokeness to a community that is already ENOUGH.
.
We are not going there to change everything, but just to do life together, to shift the mundane to sacred. .
She even talked about how we should beware not to hate or dehumanize the people in the institution even when pursuing justice, which is also something that I have been pondering for some time…
.
And then, in our last day of the orientation, @shawncasselberry led a communion. He put down lines of boundaries and seperation on the floor. And then asked us to be a bridge-builder, to tear down the seperation and paste a cross at other side of the floor. The cross not only signifies reconciliation between God and humanity, but also between humanity.
.
What struck me the most was this, “Jesus even defies the dichotomy of liberals / conservatives. He asked people who only care about personal salvation to love your neighbour, and the angry activists to love your enemy! He is building community right at the dividing lines.’
.
Two of them together wrote the book “Soul force: Seven pivots toward courage, community, and change”, which sheds more light to this topic.

 

自己的房間 / 投身

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Mission Year 第-1至-4天:

自己的房間 / 投身

(Hopefully can do an English translation later…)

剛到美國的四天好感謝有Mission Year的牙冧乃(alumni)接待我住,屋主二人都參加過Mission Year,卻在之後才相識,結婚共住,也算是延續著Mission Year生活方式。我非常極之感恩那幾天有間好舒服的房間,軟綿綿的被鋪,看見樹和老屋的窗,淘氣而會倚著我睡(也打了我兩搥)的貓,行雷時讓我抱了好久的狗,食了兩餐白飯,生果,數不完。有非常多私密空間,我過了徹底自在舒適治癒的幾天,是整輩子都難得去到的境界,身體安然,整顆心都變柔順了。在那裡聽我女神田馥甄新歌《自己的房間》,好像剎那遠離世界煩俗,默默的一場心靈淨化。

「什麼是真 什麼是假 關起門不要對自己說謊

讓行李就躺在地上 脹痛的腳晾在床上

只想在自己房間虛度時光」

這年第四次請人接待我住宿,每次都學習重新理解怎樣用金錢以外的媒介交換,織造不同的關係,每次都會想到Shane Claiborne在Irresistible Revolution寫他不住酒店的堅持,以及耶穌叫門徒找人接待他們住,如有誰不願接待,門徒要將鞋上的塵跺在他們的家外面,彷彿還看到風塵僕僕,細沙飛揚……(其實我至今仍覺得,好寸啫……)

我猜我們三人都是內向者吧,有好多私人時間,但幾次的交流時間都好深入。他們跟我談香港的政治社會狀況,又反觀美國的事。其實從壓迫者的角度,每個地方總會找到好多共通之處。屋主S積極參與一個左翼團體的組織工作,在美國的勞動節假期(他告訴我那是美國刻意淡化勞動節的抗爭意味而不慶祝五一),還是出去開會,這次議題關於幾年前芝加哥被警察槍殺的黑人年輕人,芝加哥政府一直隱瞞事實藉詞說警察受到威脅,但後來有影片被揭發,年輕人已在退後,而且有十四粒子彈都是年輕人躺下後才發的。難得因爲公眾壓力,令這位警察面對判決(通常美國警察都是不需負責任),所以他們還在繼續為此事張羅。問到他如何看待警權,是否要立法云云,他回歸到好基本,說,世界從前沒有警察,不需要警察,大家都能好好解決各種衝突和問題。

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他又跟我講到近來的罷工,包括監獄之中。在美國某些州份,犯重罪(felony)的人們即使出獄後仍終身不能投票。而且監獄中的工資低得可憐。貼文章的今天剛好是監獄罷工完結的一天,呼應1971年的監獄uprising日子。

(在剛過去的迎新都聽到有朋友說了段spoken word,由狗場的狗被領養說起,原來是對在囚人士的隱喻,說到為什麼全美有二百三十萬人在囚,為什麼在囚人士的遭遇比狗還差……那天東北十三子上訴得直,我聽完spoken word後好激動,忍不住哭著跟他們分享這個消息,之後有人分享自己朋友在獄中……那時又感受到,這是連結啊!)

監獄罷工詳情:https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/09/us-prison-strike-latest-demands-voting-rights

當然我們也有談談日常瑣事,貓貓狗狗,飲飲食食,靈性與愛護自己,但一來,私事免在如此公開平台分享了,二來,其實我完全感受到,對於有些人來說,說來說去都會回到社會時事,如果你要關心他個人,不能不跟隨他遊走於他的各種關注,因為他的日常、信念、關係、快樂、痛苦,已深深鑲嵌在他投身的社會議題,是的,是為「投身」。慶幸我們都是這樣的人。

在自己的房間好好的預備,去投身用心於外面的世界。

Anxiously anticipating a beautiful pause this year

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These few days that were intended for me to adjust to jet lag had been filled with nothingness that Pooh taught me. I did produce something and experience a lot, including dining and sharing with my two friendly hosts and wrote two 1000+ words article. But I just did everything to the pace of heart wished. Had so much time hiding in the super comfy bedroom my host offered. Had so much in-between time that when I had a meal, I spent the most time walking from the room to the kitchen to take each item one by one, listening to the wooden floor creaking everytime, as if that is the real point. When the dog Olphie shuddered so hard after the thunder I could just leave everything to cuddle her until she felt it was enough, not limited by time or anything. I don’t remember the last time having such quality me time and feeling this relaxed and content. (To consider that I have already quit my full time job for half a year and went to Vancouver for a month for my relatives, I don’t feel I am justified to say I don’t have enough rest… Am I having bad memory or too much self-pity, or am I too bad at creating such space for myself?)

So when it is time for me to leave the house and officially start my Mission Year in the national orientation event a few miles away, surprisingly I am feeling soooo scared. I recognize how valuable such space is to me that if loving God and serving people means giving it up then I really have to think (more than) twice. .

Suddenly I recall the email that made me sure I have to go to the Mission Year. The city director @lukenotjohn said

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“I think your Mission Year could offer a beautiful opportunity to pause.” “First and foremost, it really is a year to be present to God and yourself and the community around you, both within your house and neighbourhood… but there are not standards, expectations, or rules for what that look loke.”

“That sounds like it could be a real gift for you – a year to just be, and be with.”

So after telling so many people what I will be DOING in the Mission Year in the past month, I have started to forget this is more about being. I am not coming to achieve more and learn more and be the most useful servant and be so tired like a zombie. I realized that God is not calling me to be a zombie but a human whose life can be even more abundant. If a life is to be called abundant I gues it would include all these beautiful details, time to let a cat lean on, and pause? (What about all the oppressed workers then? 😢) 

With this in mind, I have more courage to step into the year and immerse in His love that should be bigger than my doubts and blindspot. Oh no it’s time I really have to go now!

Why I’m doing the Mission Year 為什麼我會參加Mission Year

Posted on Mission Year blog
中文版在下面

Having been a Christian for all my life and a full-time community organizer in a low-income urban renewal spot neighborhood in Hong Kong for 3.5 years, I am desperate to sort out a lot of things. How could we stay hopeful in this unjust world? How could we not become burnt out when pursuing justice? What is the ultimate goalIMG_8250of pursuing social justice when it seems the world won’t really change much? I learned so much about justice from my non-Christian friends that I had gone through a hard time and I had many doubts on Christianity and church.

I really want to learn to integrate my Christian faith with my action in a sense that explores the deepest meaning of God’s truth and love, rather than using just some Bible verses to justify myself. I long for a community that encourages me to serve and pursue social justice, while putting as much emphasis on spiritual growth of both the ones who serve and are served. I hope to build a healthy lifestyle instead of  draining myself for the never-ending needs of the society. That’s why I find Mission Year an amazing surprise God provides for me – integration of community, justice, fellowship, disciplined lifestyle and spirituality.

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我做了一輩子基督徒,三年半的全職社區組織者,我急切希望梳理很多事物。我們怎樣在這個不公義的世界保持盼望?我們追求公義時,怎樣不至於身心耗損?看來世界不會真的改變很多,那追尋社會公義的最終目的願景是怎樣?很多沒有基督信仰背景的朋友,在追求公義的路上對我甚大啟發,令我經歷過好一段對基督教和教會充滿不安和懷疑的日子。

我真的很想整合我的基督信仰和行動,不是止於找到些經文認同我的行動,而是在最深層的意義上了解上帝的真理和愛是怎樣。我好渴望有個群體可以鼓勵我去服侍、去追求公義,但用同樣的力度關心服侍者和被服侍者的靈性光景。我渴望可以建立到更健康的生活規律,而不是在追逐世界無窮無盡的需要時令自己迷失消耗。因此,當我發現能參加Mission Year時,簡直覺得是絕配,是上帝送給我的奇妙驚喜 —— 參與整合社區、公義、團契、生活紀律、靈性的一個Mission Year。

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