Leaving the Shore
By Kelsey McFaul
Daisy Lau reflects on ownership transformative intimacy of stewardship
This story is based on interviews conducted in 2017 in China as part of The Steward’s Journey project to engage the growing community of Chinese Christians with the biblical teaching on stewardship.
In 2012, a workplace accident made Daisy Lau unable to work. During a long period of rehab and waiting, she anxiously anticipated her recovery and where her path would lead next.
“I had this job in mind, and I’ve been waiting and waiting. I begged God, ‘Please give this to me. I want this so badly.’ That was me being an owner.”
A Chinese Christian leader trained in stewardship theology, Daisy realized that her prayer was a claim of ownership over her career trajectory. While the prayer was based in a worthy desire to work, Daisy nonetheless considered God the helper to achieve the goals she possessed, rather than the owner of her efforts and time.
“Even for a believer, for a long time I didn’t truly realize I’m only a steward and my Heavenly Father is owner of all that I have. All my talents, even my whole frame. I don’t have to second guess Him–”have You thought of this or that? are You sure?”–because I’m so clear of my role being a steward. My owner should know better than me.”
Recognizing God as the owner freed Daisy from the anxiety of worrying about uncertainty and unknown outcomes and allowed her to experience the joy of a faithful steward.
“Being an owner, you have to worry a lot. So I think the number one thing [that changes] is freedom, much greater freedom. Worry is a daily exercise for so many of us, but for now, I have learned to submit all things in prayer and be obedient to God’s leading. If something went wrong, I sought to find the lesson to learn and still trust that God has it all figured out.”
In the context of employment, Daisy found that reminding herself she wasn’t an owner changed her perspective on her job prospects as she re-entered the working community.
“God has transformed my heart again and again. Before the second interview for the job, I caught myself praying, ‘God, I just want your plan to be done. However it turns out, whatever I do, I want to bring you glory.’”
Following the second interview, Daisy kept her expectations low.
“I was expecting a declining email. Usually they say, thank you for your time today. That was the email I got, and I told my husband, ‘See I told you, I’m not going to get it.’ But the email was rather long, and then I read, ‘You are our most favorable candidate.’ I couldn’t believe it. I thought, ‘God, am I ready?’ But the whole process of praying and transformation assured me that God was saying, ‘This is what I have for you.’”
In addition to relinquishing ownership and the worry that comes with it, Daisy experienced greater intimacy with God and a realignment of her idea of success.
“This transformation allowed me to see one thing and one thing very clear. God desires our heart a lot more than other things. And to me as a steward, walking side by side with God, my future is not defined by a job, a title, or an income, but by a living relationship with my Father.”
This transformative intimacy is not without its own uncertainties, but the promise of stewardship is the constant presence and ownership of God. As Daisy puts it:
“Being a steward allows me to go much deeper in relationship with God. It allows me to leave the shore and go to the deeper sea. It is scary, even for a longtime believer, because you worry and feel that even though you know how to swim, are you going to be ok with all those strong currents? Are you going to be ok with those sharks in the ocean? But when you know your Father is going with you and He has all your best interests at heart, He wouldn’t leave you to go alone. And if He takes you to a certain path, He is already there.”
Daisy was born and raised in an untraditional family in Hong Kong. She is married to a Hawaiian grown husband, Brian; they met when she studied in Hawaii. Currently, they live in Hong Kong. Daisy accepted Christ when she was ten and actively served in church since then. Daisy was raised to ask tough questions and challenge protocols. Professionally, she is a business problem solver. She enjoys working with constraints. Daisy is so blessed to bring her father to Christ at his age of 90.