Monday, September 22, 2008

#14 Things I Love

#14: Peter Kim

Who is Peter Kim? Don't worry -- I'll get to that. But first, I want to tell you what makes me love him.

Last night, my pastor (Dr. Tim Keller) raised an interesting question: "Why do Christians want other people to become Christians? Why can't they just mind their own business and let other people believe whatever they want?"

Then, being the smart man that he is, he offered this response: Jesus yields explosive, life-changing joy. Explosive, life-changing joy. It is emotionally inconsistent, and possibly even unhealthy, not to share that and to want others to experience it.

Maybe you watched a film that moved you or read a book that stirred your soul. Most likely, you left wanting those you know and care about to see it, you wanted their souls to be stirred, too. At the very least, you wanted to tell them the plot over lunch and see if it awakened in them the very thing it awakened in you. Now imagine that the film took on an eternal weight and power, and that you could carry its joy with you not just forever, but for today, too -- in traffic, on the crowded platform waiting for the delayed train, in your chaotic office working for an angry boss, to your broken home. That is Jesus. Salvation isn't just for eternity, it's for today.

So when I met Peter Kim, he had that explosive joy thing written all over his face. I was walking through the streets of Seoul, South Korea, with three other Americans when he approached us. He grabbed my hand and introduced himself. Forgetting the language barrier and ignoring social mores, he asked our names, smiled at us, and walked with us for a bit. Then, in the pieces of English that he knew, he asked, "You know Jesus Christ?"

I didn't understand him at first. I had been almost put off by his eagerness. But then I knew: this is my brother. His approach is different than mine, but we are family. My heart warmed toward him instantly. And the joy that propels him to speak to me is the joy that propels me daily. Inevitably, some of us will screw it up. Some of us treat the good news like a blatant threat. But screaming on street corners about hell isn't going to communicate explosive joy. Then again, neither is silence. Peter Kim is working to find the balance, and I commend him for that.

Some may call it infringing on personal boundaries, but I call it love.


Anonymous said...

That completely warmed my heart. Awesome. :)

germaine said...


Love ~G

uptown girl said...

Ah, count on Koreans to break those personal space boundaries Americans get accustomed to here. (I'm Korean, I can say that. :)

I LOVE your blog, Tara! Someday we must meet. (and not just because I'm Korean and your sis in Christ) - just because. I think we'd be good friends, esp. after reading about the things you love, Yay!