11학년인 막내딸도 최근에 학교를 옮겼습니다. 결코 쉬운 일은 아니었지만, 부모로서 마음을 결정하고 조마조마한 마음으로 제안했을 때, 딸은 흔쾌히 응해 주었습니다. 너무 쉽게 답을 하는 아이의 말에 오히려 제가 더 놀랄 정도였습니다. 그래도 초조한 마음을 금할 길이 없었는데, 첫 날 학교를 다녀온 막내딸의 입에서 나온 말이 저를 안심시켰습니다. “아빠, 선생님들이 너무 좋아.” 아이를 넷이나 키웠지만, 학교에 다니던 우리 아이들에게서 처음으로 들은 말인 듯합니다. 그 말이 얼마나 좋은 말인지 새삼 깨닫게 된 저는, 두 딸로부터 저희의 목회 소신을 다시 한번 확인합니다. “아빠, 하나님이 가라면 갈게.” “아빠, 선생님이 너무 좋아.” 라는 두 딸의 말처럼, 주님이 말씀하시면 무조건 순종하고 성경말씀을 잘 가르치는 교사가 되겠다는 저희의 목회철학을 다시금 되새겨봅니다.
Pastoral Philosophy I Learned From My Two Daughters
Rev. Bryan Kim
Looking back, my most heart aching moment was when my then 11th grade daughter came into my room and said, “Dad, I’ll go if God tells me to go.” The most important dividing line when we decided to move to California after working tirelessly for 10 years of my young adult life was the heart of my oldest daughter. When she was young, she went wherever I was invited to go. However, as a high school junior with only a year left to graduate, I could not force her because I wanted to move. She had friends and a college she wanted to go to. It was a critical time with only a year left to graduate. My oldest daughter was, as the saying goes, the base of our home life. Actually, she was the base of my pastoral work. Whenever a new family comes to church, she took their kids under her wings. She received them with bright smiles, started up conversations, befriended them and by the time to go home after worship, 100% of them would say, “I really like this church”. There is no doubt she played a big part in growth of the church. Her teachers commented on most of her report cards with “Excellent Social Skills”. Amherst, MA, where she attended Kindergarten and Elementary school, was a very diverse town with clusters of colleges and naturally lots of international students. When kids from apartments played in playground, it was reminiscent of all colors. Even then we recognized her social skills when she fit right in and became friends with them very quickly. Perhaps, she learned this following me around, a survival skill that has become her trademark. In the most sensitive year of her life, a decision was made to let go of her friends and to move across the country.
My youngest daughter also moved school in 11th grade. We knew this was not easy. As parents, we made the decision and when we very delicately suggested this to her, she accepted. Her answer came so easy that I was a bit surprised. Still we were very cautious until she came back from her first day of school. I was reassured when she said, “Dad, I really like my teachers.” I raised four children and I may not remember very well, but I feel like this is the first time I heard such comment come out of my children. It was wonderful to hear that. I am reaffirming my pastoral convictions through my two daughters. “Dad, I will go if God tells me to go” means I will obey whatever God tells me! “Dad, I really like my teachers” reaffirms my pastoral philosophy of becoming a good teacher of the Word.