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|Photo credit: lalalime.blogspot.com|
I suffered a pretty severe writer’s block for the past several months (I think I’m still a bit blocked), and one suggestion was to write short fiction, which I hadn’t done in a long time. Someone on the r/writing subreddit mentioned that if you write a short story a week, it’s impossible to write 52 stories that are ALL bad, at least some of them will be decent. So I decided to give it a shot. I might post some mediocre stories, but hopefully this will help get my creativity juices flowing.
My favorite writing prompts are pictures, so I went onto Reddit and found some really great ones on the r/learnjapanese subreddit.
This one picture spoke to me:
Sogenchi Garden, Tenryu-ji Temple, Arashiyama, Kyoto - October 2017
おはようございます！ I’ve been offline lately because I’ve been:
A) working on my book
B) being stuck on my book
C) praying a lot about my book
D) switching to a new book to write to try to jumpstart my creativity again
E) (re)learning Japanese in my spare time
The Japanese part has been inconsistent because, well, it can be boring. But I found a way to make it more fun!
My listening comprehension for my Japanese is not very good, so I watched Japanese anime with English subtitles.
A couple months ago, Adagio.com gave me a gift certificate in exchange for some social media love about their teas. I already like their teas, but I took the opportunity to order some teas I hadn’t tried yet.
TL;DR—Jasmine Silver Needle was the favorite, cold-brewed at 2 heaping tablespoons per 2 quarts of water, and my second favorite was White Peach (loose-leaf, not iced tea pouches), cold-brewed at 2 heaping tablespoons per 2 quarts of water.
Adagio sells loose leaf teas as well as teabags, but I bought some of their Iced Tea pouches. Basically, it’s their loose leaf teas pre-measured in a pouch that you can use to cold- or hot-brew iced tea.
It’s been a couple months since then, but I did the worship music for our church’s Good Friday service. The service is a combination of people from both the English-speaking and Japanese-speaking services, so the worship leader has to sing at least a few songs in Japanese.
I could do five songs, but I decided to sing all of them in Japanese while my other singer (in this case, Captain Caffeine) sang the lyrics in English at the same time. It’s a bit confusing, but I wanted the Japanese congregation to feel very included (which they don’t when the songs are in English).
The service went smoothly—well, I didn’t make any mistakes, at least! I had been practicing the songs in Japanese for weeks before the service.
One of the songs my pianist really likes is “10,000 Reasons”, and while it’s not really a Good Friday song, I thought it would be a good upbeat song to end the service with. So I had to search for the Japanese lyrics for the song and came across this version by Lauren Horii. Not only do the Japanese lyrics smoothly match the melody, but she has a really great voice.
The Japanese-speaking members of the congregation seemed to really like this song. One of the Japanese worship leaders even asked me for the link to the page where I got the lyrics and they sang it for the Japanese service a few weeks later.
We’re all used to hearing this song in English, but the Japanese lyrics struck a really strong chord in me (no pun intended). Lately God has been leading me to connect with my heritage more than I ever did when I was younger, and this song is part of that process.
Singing this song in Japanese made me really want to use all that I have to reach the Japanese people for Christ. Less than 1% of the population is Christian, and most have never heard the gospel except maybe in a religions study class. Their polytheistic culture can sometimes be very unforgiving and despairing. I can feel God’s burden for them, and it has become my burden, too.
So here’s the song on YouTube. Please pray for the non-Christians in Japan, that they will find the hope and salvation of Jesus.