아들과 놀이공원에 갔다가 마술쇼 앞에 운집해 있는 사람들 틈에서 앞이 안 보이니 안아 달라고 저의 손을 잡아당기는 어린 아들을 목말 태워 마음 껏 쇼를 보며 즐겼던 일이 생각납니다. 지금은 다 커서 어른이 되어버린 아들을 이제는 목말 태울 수가 없습니다. 아이가 어리고 키가 작을수록 아빠의 목말을 쉽게 탈 수 있듯이 우리가 가진 장애는 더 높이 오를 기회입니다. 아빠보다 아빠의 목말을 탄 아이가 더 높이, 더 멀리 보는 것처럼 말입니다.
베토벤은 청력을 잃고 스스로 죽을 생각까지 했지만, 오히려 예술혼을 불 태우며 밝고 희망적인 곡을 쓰기로 결심합니다. 그때 나온 교향곡이 그 유명한 ‘운명’, ‘전원’, ‘합창’ 등입니다. 조지 부시 대통령 시절 백악관 정책 차관보(Assistant Secretary of State for the White House National Disability Committee)를 역임했던 강영우 박사도 시각 장애인이었습니 다. 닉 부이치치는 팔과 다리가 없이 태어나 불우한 유년기를 보냈지만, 장애를 딛고 일어나 지금은 많은 사람에게 희망을 심어주는 동기부여 강연자가 되었습니다. 어쩌면 내가 가진 장애는 하나님의 목말을 탈 수 있는 은혜의 경로일 수 있습니다. 키 작은 삭개오가 나무 위에 올라가듯 하나님은 우리를 안아 당신의 목말을 태우십니다.
Riding on God’s Shoulders
Rev. Bryan Kim
There is an image that comes to mind when we think of Zacchaeus. “He climbed a tree” to see Jesus. The reason he climbed a tree was because a large crowd surrounded Jesus and he could not see him. Jesus spotted Zacchaeus on the tree. And the story continues that Jesus visits Zacchaeus’ house. What we cannot overlook in this story is that the reason he climbed a tree was because he was short. He did not give up because tall people in front of him were blocking him. He overcame his height disability by climbing a tree, and the result from his effort was that Jesus said “I must stay at your house today”. When you overcome your disability, you experience something that a person without disability can never even dream of. What the University president Jae-suh Lee, who is blind, said last week still remains with me. God’s answer to Apostle Paul, who prayed three times asking for a thorn to be removed from him, was that “My grace is sufficient for you”(2 Cor 12:9). President Lee interpreted this as “It’s okay to live just as you are”. To Paul this meant, “It’s sufficient even if you live with a thorn in your body, and to the blinded President Lee, it means “It’s sufficient even though you cannot see”. He mentioned that a blind person cannot compete with someone who can see, nor does he have to act like he can see, but did his best with whatever was given to him (thorn) and that was what caused him to be saved from 7 years of darkness after he became blind.
I remember, when my son was young, we went to an amusement park. There was a large crowd watching a magic show, and my son pulled my hand to hold him because he couldn’t see. So, I put him on my shoulders and he was able to enjoy the show without visual blockage. Now he is a grown adult and I cannot put him on my shoulders. Like children can easily be put on their dad’s shoulders when they are young and small, our disability can be our opportunity to climb higher. A child on his dad’s shoulders sees higher and further than his dad.
When Beethoven lost his hearing, he thought about dying. Instead, his spirit of creativity burned with desire to create even brighter and hopeful music. These symphonies are ‘Fate’ ‘Pastorale’ and ’Choral’. During George W. Bush’s presidency, Assistant Secretary of State for the White House National Disability Committee was Dr. Young-ooh Kang who is blind. Nick Vujicic, being born without limbs, had a disadvantaged childhood, but he overcame his disability and is now a motivational speaker giving hope to many people. Perhaps, my disability can be a route to grace that would put me on His shoulders. Like short Zacchaeus climbed up a tree, God picks us up and puts us on His shoulders.