Love, Dad. — October 14, 2016

To my beloved Sophia and Christopher,

I love you so much. No words will ever capture the depth and width of my love for you. I only hope that in all of our moments together, your confidence in that truth won’t waver but rather get built up.

A few weeks ago, my heart, soul, and mind began to fill with a deep desire to write you these letters. And in these weeks, I have struggled to clearly articulate why I felt so compelled to do this.

That was until last night when everything became clear. I was sitting with a group of strangers at an event called Q Commons. This event was designed to enable meaningful conversations around important questions affecting our world today. This night we talked about the state of our Christian faith, race relations and the upcoming presidential election.

I sat and listened to the discussion without saying a word. I was content with not contributing because the others had so much to say. However, as our night was coming to a close, one of the group members turned to me to ask if I had anything to say.

I paused for a moment, smiled and then I shared some stories from my life that were relevant to the conversation. Stories about my struggle with faith, my childhood in rural North Carolina as one of the two Asians in our school (the other being my brother), and my journey as an immigrant.

At the end of my sharing, I could see our group had changed. In fact, I have changed. The stories shifted the atmosphere and our conversation moved from despair, frustration, and confusion to hope, faith, and more importantly love.

As we shook hands to bid farewell to one another, the one that asked me earlier if I had anything to say gave me a hug. No words. Simply a hug that spoke volumes. We may or may not see each other again, but in that moment, I felt an authentic connection.

The stories I shared were not answers for the complicated questions but rather an invitation to be a part of my on-going journey. The greatest discovery was that the gift of story, in fact, contains an even greater treasure, the authentic connection of heart, soul and mind.

So now, at 5:30 in the morning, I feel more compelled than ever to write these letters to you, with hopes that this chronicle of my stories will serve as a guide for your own journey ahead.

I am fully aware that Christopher, you are just learning to read and Sophia, you are a few days away from becoming 8. In fact, you may not read this for many years to come but when you do, my hope is that these letters will deepen your understanding of my love for you.

My desire is to be the best father I can be but I know I will disappoint and/or lose my way at times. Therefore, I find comfort in knowing that there is a heavenly Father that loves you and I more than we could ever imagine.

So I will conclude this first letter with my first encouragement from the Book of Ephesians, Chapter 3.

“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”

Love, Dad.