Yuna Kim Taught Me How to Pray

After I saw her, I was never afraid again.

Yuna Kim

She is Yuna Kim, South Korea’s most popular celebrity/athlete/pop icon/etc. I knew nothing about her until she demolished her competition at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

And she demolished with grace! After earning her gold medal (and South Korea’s first gold in skating ever), the sports channel showed a montage of athletes in various states of competition and ecstatic victory. But for Miss Kim, I saw something that made me scour the internet for an explanation. I was confused when I saw:

As she skated onto the ice for her final program, she made the Sign of the Cross, clasped her hands together, bowed her head, and prayed.

There she was: on Olympic ice, before dozens of HD cameras broadcasting to billions of TVs, LCDs, smartphones, before millions of her adoring fans (especially the boys — duh) at home and around the world. And there she was, praying in public.

She was so humble about it, that you’d almost miss it! Unless she actually prays this way before her every skate. WHICH SHE DOES.

And it occurred to me, that if Yuna Kim could be that devoted to Christ before the world’s gaze, then what reason do I have for cowering? What reason do I have to be afraid of praying before others? Who was watching me? Do I have dozens of cameras broadcasting my public prayer around the planet? Do I have millions of fans ready to judge my next move? Does anyone care what Evan does?

No.

And even if they do care, I’m not about to let Yuna pray alone.

P.S. after investigating the internet, I found out that Miss Kim had decided to be baptized Catholic in 2008 as Stella Yuna Kim, named after the Blessed Virgin Mary – Star of the Sea. In a world like today, deciding to be Catholic takes guts and grace. Seriously.

P.P.S. My personal favorite Yuna Kim skate (trust me, you gotta see this):

Keep an eye out for Yuna in February during the 2014 Sochi Olympics!

Happy New Year!

Sochi 2014

[See the next posts about Yuna Kim here (The Forbidden Christian) and here (A Meme for the Queen)!, and my interview on CNA!]

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Believe in Something MORE

A certain meme set off my sarcastic side* today. Here it is with my response all over it:

Don’t always believe in yourself — always believe in something MORE!

In case you can’t read the heresy, it says with much naivete: “A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on its own wings. Always believe in yourself.”

There are a half dozen things wrong with the claim. I’ll let you figure out the others after I share the big one:

I don’t believe in myself. I know that sounds like I have a major lack of self-esteem, but it’s more than that. I don’t believe in myself because I’m only human!

I make more mistakes than good calls. I miss more opportunities than I can remember, and the fact that I can’t remember (because of my limited mortal brain) makes me even less reliable.

I’d much rather believe in Him who is forever greater than me, because I am so limited, selfish, mortal and sinful. Even if I do believe in myself, without the Lord, there’s not much to believe in… (sorry to bust your bubble! I’m not God, and you aren’t either. I can prove it: one day we’ll both be dead! What’ll we believe in then? A corpse?!)

Every success I have in my life has been because the Holy Spirit has helped me. Either through others (like my parents, family, friends…) or directly (like when I get random awesome ideas and surges of motivation that zip in from nowhere)!

So next time you need to believe in yourself, actually pray that God helps you to believe in yourself, because your lazy and forgetful self will probably stop believing pretty quick. (See what I did there? I blew up a contradiction.)

*Sorry for the sarcasm if it offended you. Occasional bursts of sarcasm are known to emit randomly from my highly critical mind.

Drink Drank Drunk

Once upon a time, a dear friend of mine turned 21. She, a few friends and myself went to celebrate at a bar. In general I find bars too noisy and distracting for good conversations, but I made an exception this time to go anyways.

ChinaBeerCans

I do not mind legal drinking. I drink a bit myself.  Heck, even Jesus makes wondrous wine from waste water! And He turns ordinary wine into His Precious Blood! And if THAT’s what He meant by True Drink… well then gimme summa dat!

But seriously, what I do mind is when someone I love and care about can’t even understand what I’m saying to them. The alcohol blinds them from me, puts me on mute, and makes them dumb. I do not want my beloveds to become dumb – not even for a minute! If your friends/family wants you to go dumb, who needs enemies?

Sure, there’ll be laughs and giggles. But what is there to laugh about? THINK about it – it’s laughter at someone saying and doing stupid things they don’t even know they’re doing. And this person is someone you care about? Good way of showing it…

Then what if they get themselves hurt, in trouble, and do something irrevocable? Something they’ll regret? A fun time becomes a nightmare. A celebration becomes a wreck.

Maybe I’m just being picky, stubborn, overly serious, and am overreacting. But I just value sharing meaningful conversations with loved ones – and I want us both to remember the meaningful time.

Many things in life are painful – but none as much as being the only one who remembers something special.

Alone in a Crowd

[This was a post originally written March 14, 2011. A friend recently reminded me of it and here it is now for your reading consideration!]