護家中心 – 喜樂
在一個美好的早晨,我和妹妹剛跑完五千公尺的馬拉松，約好爸媽在終點線見面，然後我們一起去吃早餐。這種情景已經不常見很久，因為十年前我結婚，小妹也在三年前出嫁了。今天丈夫在家看顧小孩，只有我們娘家四口子。隨便走進了一家美國早餐店, 馬上點了煎蛋，烤麵包和簿煎餅餵飽肚子。想不到爸爸一邊吃著卻觸景傷情起來，做了令我們頗感意外及難忘的一件事…… 當時,我們默默地各顧各吃餐，但我看出爸爸有點心事。他的臉上帶著關心的表情，他的姿勢有點緊張。他放下叉子，開始說話，話語中有時因為回憶而暫停且夾雜著深呼吸的聲音。他講述了有關他的往事，其中有些我已聽過，話題一轉卻令我震驚—-他說他為擁有這個家（我、妹妹和媽媽）及這些年我們對他的支持而感恩。然後，最意想不到的是: 他兩眼濕潤，用顫抖的聲音，向我們道歉; 希望我們能原諒他以前常常無法克制的暴躁脾氣。這是多年來我一直希望從他口裡聽到的。 我被他的認錯嚇呆了。我立時停了吃東西,被卡在喉嚨裡的食物阻礙發聲。然而,我沉醉在他真誠的話語中，覺得那味道比我簿煎餅上的糖漿更甜。 這時刻是我們家庭史上最美的詩篇! 可是這美麗畫面是苦樂參半的。苦澀的是勾起了傷感的回憶; 喜樂的是因為我看到爸爸成長了很多。 我知道承認自己的錯誤是很不容易的，更不用說對自己的兒女道歉。不過，我也知道一個人個性的塑造是需要經過長久時間的累積，可能是幾年，甚至幾十年。有時，在自己的磨煉過程中，我們傷害了其他人; 但因此，我們卻更有動機學習去愛被傷害者。人生旅程中因曾傷害人反而領悟出施愛的邏輯真是不可思議，過中經驗雖不愉快，但是絕對必要的。 我要感恩,為了我家四人能共同走過這些年的風風雨雨，也為了我爸送給我們温柔謙卑的心。最重要的是我們之間的“相愛”，因為“愛能遮掩許多的罪”（彼得前書4：8）。
A Father’s Heart HFRC – Joy
It was the perfect setting actually. We had just run a 5k, met our parents at the finish line and set out to have breakfast, just the four of us. Such an occasion had not happened since before my sister and I both got married, which was a decade ago. Without the distractions of husbands or grandchildren, we sat down for a good old American meal (ie. eggs, toast and pancakes)… and unbeknownst to us at the time, a history lesson of a Chinese family. As we ate in silence for a while, I could tell my dad had something on his mind. He face was thoughtful, his posture a bit tense. He set down his fork and began speaking, his sentences mixed with reflective pauses and deep breaths. He relayed information about his past, some of which I already knew and some of which shocked me. He spoke of his gratitude at having our family and my mom as his support all these years. Then he did the most unexpected thing, perhaps the thing I had been hoping to hear from him all these years. He apologized. With moist eyes and a faltering voice, he apologized for allowing his temper to overtake him in the past. I was stunned by his admissions. I had stopped eating at that point because it was becoming hard to swallow past the lump in my throat. I could only indulge in the genuineness of his words then, which tasted sweeter than the syrup on my pancakes. This was an epic moment in our family’s history. Even still, it was a bittersweet one. Bitter, because of the memories that were dredged up; sweet, because I was able to see how much my father has grown. I know for myself that it is not easy to acknowledge my mistakes, let alone apologize for them. However, I also know that character is built over time, usually over the long stretch of days, years and decades. Sometimes through our own refining though, others get wounded in the process. But for the wounded, we are given the opportunity to practice love. It’s a strange cycle of life, not a pleasant one to experience, but definitely a necessary one. I am thankful for how far my family has come and for my father’s heart, but most of all for love, which “covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
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