너와 나 사이의 우주를 건너
(Crossing the space between you and me)
내게로 would you like to come over to me?
너와 나 사이의 우주를 건너
(Crossing the space between you and me)
내게로 날아 와줘 더 이상 기다리게 하지마
(Fly toward me, don’t wait any longer)
The following week after the overnight church outing, things started to get busier.
That Sunday, I honestly did not want to get out of bed just to go to church because I was still exhausted from the outing thing. Nevertheless, I forced myself to get up because I was supposed to “give a compliment.”
Let me give you a background on what that means:
About two weeks before this particular Sunday, I was “complimented” by 연지 언니. Basically, this semester we are holding a “compliment relay” in our singles group in church. Whoever gets a compliment should compliment another person the following week. The compliment giver will usually stand up front and announce who they want to compliment and why. 연지 언니 complimented me on the fact that I was trying so hard living the international student life and doing my best even though my Korean isn’t perfect. So then I had to think about who to compliment now. I had 진솔 언니 in mind, because like I mentioned in my previous post, she is my favorite 언니. And so for about a week or so, I was thinking about what I should say in front of everyone about my favorite 언니, but then I changed my mind. After meeting 나연 언니 that Friday, I figured she deserves to be complimented and that she needs the encouragement more. 나연 언니 is working so hard on her Master’s degree these days that even her health is badly affected, and yet she still makes it a point to meet me and 종언 whenever she can. Seriously, her life is so busy and definitely not easy right now, and yet she still smiles and makes us laugh. So I thought I would compliment her instead.
Oddly, when I was looking around for 나연 언니 that Sunday, she wasn’t there. She was busy again so when I complimented her up front she wasn’t there to hear any of it. I didn’t mind though. The whole reason I was complimenting her was because I knew she was busy anyway. Besides, 혜룡 오빠 would probably just send her the script I wrote.
나연 언니 may not be present, but 진솔 언니 apparently took a photo of me while I was speaking on stage. Ugh, I don’t know if I should find her annoying or what, but I don’t really feel like telling her to stop taking my pictures because she seems happy about taking them. If she was my mom or dad, I’d totally put up a front and get angry. I don’t know why but when it comes to certain people, I become quite a big pushover. If you see me with my family, you’d think I have such a strong idgaf attitude, but when it comes to new people, I rarely speak my mind.
Anyway while we were talking about how our week has been, 하은 mentioned that she was done with her college entrance exams and is currently looking for someone to have fun with so I told her to contact me if she ever wanted to hang out since I was on my short break as well before starting 6급. She loved the idea so much. She immediately invited herself to my house for the next day. She herself made all the plans to take me to the Christian bookstore to buy English devotionals and then go to my house for lunch that she thought she’d make herself in return for a bit of English lessons. Since she already has a whole schedule planned out, I just couldn’t say no. Besides, I’d like to have company as well to be honest.
After church, 진솔 언니 decided she wanted to treat me to dinner all of a sudden, just the two of us. I don’t know what went in her mind but she suddenly wanted to hog me to herself again. Then she asked me what I wanted to eat, so I easily told her what I wanted: 전. I love Korean pancakes a lot but every time I tell people I want 전 they laugh at me and think I’m kidding. I AM NOT KIDDING. I guess Koreans only view 전 as this homemade food that any idiot can make. And it’s also really cheap when bought from the street market. It’s not even considered a meal–more like a side dish or a merienda. In fact, the restaurants near YU don’t even serve 전 (except maybe the beer houses). if you ask me what I want to eat, I really don’t want to say the usual stuff like 비빔밥, 찜닭, 닭갈비, 등등.. because, well, WHAT ELSE DO YOU THINK I EAT ALL THE TIME??? I always eat out in that area near YU, and I am honestly sick of eating the same old food choices all the time. There is nothing appealing about eating out anymore to be honest. I want a warm, homemade meal for a change, and I never thought I would actually admit this, but I actually miss my mother’s bland, less-than-ordinary cooking. Since I insisted on the 전, 진솔 언니 made it a point to give me what I want and decided to take on the challenge of making 전 for the very first time. However, since I have had 라면 at her house a few times before, I have a fairly good idea of how her cooking skills are, and tell you what? She sucks. She is honestly worse than me or my mom. I mean, boiling 라면 has got to be the easiest thing in the book. Any moron can make 라면, yet she still finds a way to mess it up. I don’t know how our 전 will turn out but at that point I started praying seriously to God that she would not end up killing me instead of kindly feeding me dinner.
After doing a bit of grocery shopping, we decided to cook together at her house. I have actually made 전 before, and it wasn’t that difficult at all. But since she seemed like she wanted to “be the big 언니” here, I let her do whatever she wants, even though she clearly has no idea what she’s doing. She added too much flour, and told me to cut the squid how ever I want. When it came to the frying pan, she asked me to fill the entire pan with batter (to which I thought would be a bad idea), so when it came to flipping the pancake, she totally wrecked it and ended up laughing so hard at herself. I tried to fix the pancake and form it nicely again, but a while later, she wrecked it again when I wasn’t looking, making me want to face palm and roll my eyes to the moon and back. We ended up with a mushy sort of dish with some vegetables… ugh… I already fixed it for her and then she just ruined it. Gosh, this girl drives me nuts, I thought. When she took a picture it oddly looked really good, but trust me, it’s not supposed to look like that.
Then I decided to make one by myself. She told me to try not filling the whole pan (which I wanted to do in the first place) so I did and I was able to flip the pancake easily. It looked really nice,–like an actual 전. Then suddenly the pastor came in like Superman to the rescue and cooked the rest of it for us. Good thing he came or 진솔 언니 would have done whatever she thought was a good idea, and end up causing the two of us more trouble than we really wanted from a simple dinner. A little later, 수현 and 하은 came too and ate with us.
After dinner, 하은 suddenly got this genius idea (I’m being sarcastic) of the four of us performing a Christmas song on Christmas Day in front of everyone in church. At first we were all just joking around about it but that evening turned into a serious planning for some performance that I did not expect to get into. I was only here for the 전, dammit… To be honest, I’m quite rusty on my music skills. I haven’t played guitar in months. 진솔 언니 didn’t want to join us because she thought she wouldn’t go well with the “young and fresh” image compared to the three of us. She doesn’t even look old, but she is fairly old compared to the three of us (around 6 or 7 years older). She said she’d be our leader/manager though, so she promised to make this gig possible for us. After a while of thinking about which song we should do, we ended up choosing two songs:
Since these two songs have this easy going, acoustic R&B vibe and the lyrics both have something to do with “우주,” (galaxy/universe), 하은 & 수현 had this amazing idea (again, sarcasm) of combining certain parts of those two songs together into one song. It is a pretty cool idea, IF WE COULD PULL IT OFF. And by “we,” my part takes up about 50% of it (there’s three of us for goodness sakes). They clearly have no idea how much effort I will have to exert to make this sound decent. I mean rearranging the lyrics and piecing the parts together seems easy when you’re just singing, but rearranging two music pieces–transposing them to a very different key, mixing them well, and delivering it on guitar without discrepancies is another thing. I can definitely rearrange the background, but since my guitar playing has been quite rusty, my hands definitely aren’t moving as well as I want them to. Plus, they’re just singing and I’m the only one in the instrument department, so I have to work twice as hard. I just hope it wouldn’t end up in a flop. Out of the three of us, I am honestly the most nervous, and I’m the one with the most experience when it comes to playing music in front of crowds! Well, let’s just hope and pray that it ends well.
The moment I got home I remembered something: I forgot the book. While 진솔 언니 and I were preparing the 전, she showed me this book called The Shack by William P. Young, which I immediately thought to be a very suspicious title for a “Christian” book. Since it was written in English, she said she could lend it to me if I wanted to read it. She said she really enjoyed the Korean translation of the book so she also bought the English one… When I looked through the title pages and the back cover, the more I was sure it was a dubious book the moment I saw Michael W. Smith giving the book a good review. I mean, after all the crap my mother has researched concerning heretics and false Christianity, and after watching a lot of Say Goodnight Kevin on Youtube, I did end up despising most of “Christian” movies and books. And everyone who has done a bit of research on Michael W. Smith knows that that guy isn’t even Christian. (Not saying you should stop listening to him if you like him, but just saying… He believes in a weird, completely non-Biblical god of some sort. Look it up.) And so, grabbing this opportunity to see what’s so great about this seemingly heresy-filled book, I told her I want to borrow it, but I completely forgot to bring it home. So I asked her if she could hand me the book on her spare time.
The following day, she couldn’t give it to me because she was busy, so the day after, I went out to meet her out in the cold just so I can get that book. To be completely honest, I could care less about reading that book because I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it anyway. Regardless, I contacted her and asked if I could meet her with the excuse of getting that book. Yeah, I just wanted to see her a weekday, even if it’s just for a while. I don’t really care about the book. So I went out there, and for some dumb reason, I didn’t quite understand that my timing was wrong, so I went out in that cold evening just to meet her, who apparently was still in the subway on the way home from work. I waited for a while in KFC to stay warm. When she got there she was so sorry for making me wait and started whining about the cold. It was a really cold day yet I really didn’t care. Hearing her get worried over me waiting in the cold was enough to make my day.
When I got home, I began to read that book and tell you what, it was written in a way that would hold your attention. It wasn’t a boring book, that’s for sure. It starts off with this guy’s daughter getting murdered, and of course, after that murder, the guy starts to hate God. The daughter’s mystery murder was honestly the best part of the book, because after that, well, that’s when it starts being a heretic piece of crap. Years after the murder, the guy still can’t get over it and gets all depressed, until one day, he received a mysterious letter from “Papa” (AKA “God”) asking him to come to the abandoned shack in the middle of nowhere where the detectives found the bloody one-piece dress of his daughter (they never found the body). “What kind of sick joke is this?” the guy starts thinking because God doesn’t send weird letters like this, does he? What if it’s the murderer? Etc. etc. and all the other completely logical questions and conclusions any person would think if they ever get a letter like this in their mail. Even though he did not really believe God would do something like that because he learned it in seminary (and I have to agree with the stuff he said he learned from seminary), he went to the shack anyway. Surprise, surprise, this is when the story became a dumb joke to me. God was actually there in the shack, and lo and behold, he’s a big fat black woman who looooooves everyone and just spits out false doctrine here and there; and then there’s Jesus, who was a Middle Eastern carpenter; and the Holy Spirit, who was some cute, ghost-like Asian girl. When I read this I just laughed out loud, thinking, “THE HECK did I just read?” And well, the rest of it involves the guy interacting with that weird “Trinity” proving his seminary knowledge wrong and teaching a twisted view of God that I seriously cannot take seriously. I had to stop reading halfway through that book. It just wasn’t worth my time.
But do I regret going out there in the cold to see 진솔 언니? Nope. Never. Now I know how I can pray for her. Can I explain to her exactly why I didn’t like that book? Not really–not yet. (I told her I didn’t like it because I thought it was weird but I really couldn’t explain further because of my lacking Korean, and she was alright with that.)
I pray that God would truly reveal Himself to his people instead of some false gospel revealing itself to Christians who want to know more about the real God. And along that path, as we come closer to Jesus, pray that we wouldn’t lose our way.