Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Carried in Our Father's Arms
Korea was a very underdeveloped country when my parents first arrived in '57, and by the time I was in elementary school in the 60's, it had rapidly grown, yet most of the country still had no organized sewage system. You don't want to know how they dealt with their toilet waste. I'll just say that what we called the "honey bucket truck" didn't smell anything like honey.
I remember one particularly hot June when I was in so much pain from our many shots - I was about 6 years old. My dad always tried to cheer us up with a special treat, and he had extravagantly bought us a patio table and chairs with an umbrella for outdoor picnics. He announced it to the three of us kids as we all moaned our thanks from our beds, and then he proceeded to put it together in the living room downstairs so we could all appreciate it. My brother and sister hobbled down the stairs and came back up excited that Daddy had bought us this cool new thing, but I was too weak and sickly to move. My dad scooped me up and carried me down very gently and showed it to me, even though I couldn't even lift my head from his shoulder. He then carried me back upstairs and laid me down in my bed. I was amazed at how strong and happy he was even though he had had the same vaccinations as we did. He could actually carry me when I couldn't even stand.
Many times I have thought of God's strength being sufficient for us, that He can easily carry us through tough times when we are out of strength. I always remember that night with my fevered head on my dad's shoulder as he carried my up the stairs and my gratefulness that he was able to do what was impossible for me. My relationship with my dad wasn't always so picture-perfect, but I know God imprinted that on my memory so clearly for a reason, and over the years that image of my dad's kindness being like God's, pulled me through some pretty unhappy moments.
Now I have many more examples in recent memory of God coming through for me and doing the impossible, that I don't refer to that one of my dad much any more. I have real proof that He is alive and actively answering my prayers. But God knew that I'd need that boost, that image in my head to push me forward until the day that I really knew how great God was on a personal level.
Maybe the kindnesses and acts of faith we show today, are being imprinted on someone else's mind by God Himself, with the hope that they too will push forward to finally know Him. I think we should count on it.
Above is a picture of me and my dad on his many trips through the Korean countryside overseeing the construction of new church facilities. This one here is a new orphanage site outside of Seoul, around 1965.