Feather and Sweater

by Judi Chow

I like feathers; they feel comfortable in a pillow and keep me warm in a down jacket. A feather is beautiful yet fragile; it can be torn easily but light enough to go wherever the wind blows. Can you remember the beautiful opening of the movie Forrest Gump? I like the subtle meaning behind such a seemingly aimless feather concerning life. After all, we know Who orchestrates the wind’s direction and speed. There is a Chinese saying, “Sending a feather across a thousand miles, such a light gift carrying much love.”

I am happy Wecare Center used the feather as the theme for our business cards. On the back, it has a feather blowing in the wind, crossing the sky, and landing wherever there might be a missionary, implying our prayers and thoughts go beyond the physical boundaries to our fellow sojourners. This is exactly the essence of the Wecare spirit: We might not be able to go with the missionaries to their fields, but we are here to care, to guide, and to cheer them on. Praying for the missionaries’ lives rather than their ministries is one of our central focuses.

I usually see yarns in bundles at a store or as a sweater in my closet. How about that as part of a food item? I heard this touching story from our short-term missionary in Latin America last week. Chinese loves food on every occasion and festival; giving of food also conveys the meaning of love. On the fifth lunar month, Chinese celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival with a special food call Zong-zi. It is a glutinous rice ball with special fillings wrapped in green corn leaves tied by straws or strings. An elderly Chinese lady on the mission field would like to make some Zong-zi to give to our missionaries as a token of her appreciation. She has all the ingredients except the strings, so she looked around in her house and picked out a sweater, carefully unweaving it so she can reuse the yarn from the sweater to tie the Zong-zi together.

You can buy a Zong-zi at a supermarket in Hong Kong for about HK$10 tied with the traditional straws. I have never seen a Zong-zi tied with yarns nor have our missionaries eaten any Zong-zi tied with such deep love from the sacrifice of a sweater.

Feather and sweater both can keep us warm physically as well as emotionally if we know the meaning behind them. Would you consider sending a feather across a thousand miles to our missionaries fighting in the frontline? That will surely keep them warm from the inside out.

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