When Mihee Kim-Kort Ministered to Me (Guest Post by Cindy Brandt)

I have a complicated relationship with the church. As a missionary convert and growing up conservative evangelical, I always thought I thrived in that world. I was good at studying the Bible, I was good at praying out loud, I was good at being good.
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But somewhere along the way, gaps began to appear in which I felt like my faith wasn’t able to address the whole of who I am.
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One main reason is that as a Chinese girl, my faith was passed down to me through westerners, which created a cultural distance between my faith and my identity. As the gaps became more noticeable, I began to think more deeply about how much our Christian faith is delivered by imperfect people who have particular cultural biases and worldviews. After all, even God was incarnated into a man who practiced cultural habits.
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The more I paid attention to it, the more I realized how the conflation of culture and gospel can become a very dangerous thing. Specifically, when the gospel, which is a beautiful story of God giving away God’s power to call people to serve in a similar power-giving way, is preached by those who not only possess cultural power but lord it over others.
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When people who are blind to the privileges they are accorded, speak the Word of God from a platform to those with lesser power below, there is a good chance the prophetic message of the gospel has been diluted.
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This is why last summer, when I was visiting the United States with my American family, I sat in the pews of a megachurch rather uninterested and uninspired. I pulled out my smartphone and tweeted this:
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Truth is, I don’t need to learn from white men preaching at me from a stage. I am longing to learn from whispered sermons of the marginalized.
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It wasn’t so much I had problems with what the pastor was preaching, it was a lovely message. It was that it was the same, disconnected message filled with gaps that I had been brought up with, and I have become weary of pretending to be a suburban WASP simply because I identified with the same Jesus.
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I survived the sermon by watching my kids doodle on the church bulletin, smiling at their shenanigans, then we headed home. Later that afternoon, I took advantage of the beautiful weather and decided to go on a bike ride around the neighborhood. As is my custom, I placed my single bluetooth ear piece in my right ear, turned it on and waited for the robotic voice to notify me, “Your earphone is now connected.”
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I began scrolling through my podcast collection on my iPhone and remembered someone on twitter had recommended Mihee Kim-Kort’s new podcast called, The Everyday Holy. The iTunes description for the podcast says this…
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Using the everyday and ordinary as the main hermeneutic for the lectionary we’ll talk about everything from preaching to parenting – nothing is off limits. It is a space to reflect on who we are in the here and now and letting that be the canvas on which we paint and write and dream and live God’s word.
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That sounded good to me, so I picked an episode, clicked play, and started pedaling my bike. The podcast contains snippets of her family life set to the background of soothing music, and Mihee’s natural radio voice talking candidly about Scripture and faith and life.
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I am a very involved podcast listener, meaning I don’t passively listen. I nod vehemently when in agreement, I verbally argue or accuse the podcaster for being wrong, or I cry with liberty, in the privacy of my own company. When I listened to Mihee’s podcast—I worshipped. Like I hadn’t in a long, long time.
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Somehow, through her words and guidance, she led me before the presence of God in a way I hadn’t experienced or even sought after for a while. I had sobbed, in the way one does when our soul is stirred from deep within. It was refreshing, authentic, and true—a God moment I didn’t know I desperately needed.
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At the time I relished in the spiritual nourishment, but after my bike ride I reflected on what it was that touched me in such a special way.
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And I knew, that deep in the well of my soul, was a longing that had not been named after all these years of following Jesus; that was the desire to be led before God by a woman who looked similar to me.
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Mihee is probably younger than I am, but as I listened to her ministry in my earbud, I was a little girl again, learning about Jesus for the first time but from a voice that was feminine and prophetic, one that was disarming and vulnerable. She didn’t talk at me, but for me.
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In that short bike ride, I felt those gaps I had learned to to live with all my life lovingly filled and I was given permission to meet God just as I am. I always thought I thrived in that world. The world which was euro-centric and led by men on platforms. Now I realize I simply didn’t know what I was missing. I had gotten a taste of the Everyday Holy. And I am never settling for anything less.
cindy
Cindy blogs at cindywords.com. She is the author of Outside In: Ten Christian Voices We Can’t Ignore, which you can download for free here.
“I see faith in the irreverent, miracles in the ordinary, and beauty in the margins.”
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4 Comments

  • WONDERFUL POST! A bunch of us Christian fiction writers were JUST TALKING about this very thing via a post about evangelism through Christian fiction on Friday. The writer of the post is an African American speculative fiction author and she talked about how American Christianity is weakened (for the lack of better term) due to the way it’s presented via our racial, cultural, and denominational constructs and a call to stop marginalizing. I am so glad to have read this. Thank you for sharing and I’d LOVE to have you on my show sometime to talk about your experience. Maybe even had the podcaster on too. That’ll be great! Yahoo!

  • Beautiful post Cindy!!! I love how you state that she didn’t talk at you but for you -priceless! I’ll definitely check out your work. Thank you also for endorsing another dear sister’s ministry! And Jory, thanks for being an advocate for others! Great things happen when we empower others to tell their story. We all win, Blessings

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