By Dae Il Kim
There once was an old man who lived in South Korea. After the war, times were hard and life for him wasn’t easy. His occupation was that of a metal collector which was considered the lowest job possible at the time). He would search garbage can after garbage can looking for scraps of metal which he could sell to the government. He earned a measly ten dollars and spent five to buy food. He lived in a hut which he built on the mountain side and was a very lonely person and nobody cared for him. He lived a sad life for his face was severely scarred from a fire which killed his family. No one would look at him because he was so grotesquely scarred and because of this he kept very quiet and avoided people whenever he could. His main goal in life was to save enough money to fix his face so he could live a “normal” life.
Meanwhile, there was an orphan who lived in the streets every day. Both his parents left him when he was only nine. The boy was blind and suffered from severe malnutrition. Every day the boy begged for food but the people who passed by would either laugh at him or say evil things to him. In fact, some even kicked him or threw dirt in his face. Although he wished so much that he could run away, he couldn’t because he was blind. Like the old man, the boy lived a sad sad life and nobody cared about him.
One day, as the old man was walking down the street and he was trying his best to avoid people while looking for scraps of metal, he saw the broken hearted boy and felt sympathy for him. Out of his kind heart, he took the boy to his home. There he fed him, clothed him, and treated him like his own beloved son. The boy was joyful and was so eternally grateful to this person who treated him like a loving father. For the first time in his life, the boy felt loved.
Years passed and the old man and the boy were very happy together. One day the boy said to the old man, “I’m sorry for being so useless. I wish my eyes would become better so I could help you work. You must be such a beautiful and wonderful person because you took care of someone as wretched as me. Maybe one day I could see your wonderful face.”
The old man immediately became silent being too moved to say anything.
The next day he went to the hospital and asked the doctor privately how much it would cost for the surgery to heal his face. The doctor told him around a thousand dollars. He was Deeply saddened because he had saved up for ten long years and only had a little more than fifteen hundred. He then asked the doctor how much it would be to heal the young boy’s sight. The doctor said fifteen hundred dollars will do. Without thinking, he knew what he had to do. He would give up his life-long dream for this boy whom he loved so dearly.
The next day, he took the boy to the doctor. He didn’t want the boy to see him after the operation because of the scars on his face. Hesitantly and sadly, he went up to the young boy and said, “After you receive your sight I can’t be with you anymore, yet I shall always think of you. I want you to be happy and live a good life.”
After these words he paid the doctor and the tired man left knowing he could never truly reveal himself to the one he loved so dearly. The surgery was very successful and immediately thereafter the boy could see again. He was filled with joy and wondered why he couldn’t see the one he who he owed his life to and sacrificed so much for him.
After the boy left the hospital, he started looking for a job and soon he found one at a restaurant. He became a waiter there and worked full time earning a good amount.
Chance would have it that the next day the old man came looking for metals to collect. He started searching around the garbage can of the restaurant. While he was searching, the manager of the restaurant came out and started yelling at him and commanding him to leave because he was scaring the customers.
The boy soon came to the manager’s side side and seeing the old man creating such a commotion threatened him even more than the manager. The boy called the old man some foul names, kicked him a few times, and even threw dirt in his face. So quickly had he forgotten that he was picked on by other people in the same way years ago. Slowly….very slowly, the metal collector got up and began limping away aching from the pain that the boy had inflicted on him. As he was leaving he looked at the boy and he smiled a warm smile at the boy (although it was not well received) and left not wanting the boy to see him cry his happy tears.
Later on the day at the restaurant the manager said to the boy, “what an ugly man.”
The boy’s reply was, “I know, I hope I never see him again.”
When I wrote this I wanted people to feel something in their hearts. I wanted them to be moved and say, “hey this isn’t right!! The old man shouldn’t have to suffer like that. He saved the boy’s life” This typifies Jesus’s love for us. He sacrifices and does so much for us and yet we don’t care for his existence. We’re like the boy and that old man who loves us so much is Jesus. Like the old man, even when we treat him so badly he still smiles at us because we are still his beloved children; he is ever faithful and is an all loving God. I pray that this will help you understand the love of God a little better.
–Dae Il Kim