“Min-Jun Measures Up,” Friend, January 2017
Min-Jun Measures Up
“Jesus is our loving friend. … Ev’ry child is dear” (Children’s Songbook, 58).
Min-Jun stared out the window at the clouds. “It looks like it will rain tomorrow,” he said.
Grandfather looked up from his newspaper and nodded. It was late summer in Seoul, South Korea, and monsoon season had begun.
Min-Jun set an umbrella next to his clothes for Sunday. “I think we should leave early tomorrow.”
Grandfather smiled. “Good idea. We’ll have to walk the longer way, in case the lower road floods.”
“Do you think the Church building will be all right?” Min-Jun asked. Last year the basement had flooded during monsoon season.
“Yes,” said Grandfather. “But it never hurts to pray.”
“Then I’ll pray for the church tonight. And that we can make it there safely. Jal-ja-yo (good night).” Min-Jun bowed and went to bed.
In the morning they left the apartment early. Min-Jun looked up at the dark clouds that filled the sky.
“Have faith,” said Grandfather.
Min-Jun followed Grandfather up the narrow staircase on the hill near their apartment. They paused at the top to catch their breath. Their white shirts were already damp from the heavy humidity in the air.
Grandfather held out his hand to feel the first raindrops. “Do you feel that? The rain is starting.”
They opened up their umbrellas. By the time they reached the next staircase, the rain was coming down fast. Min-Jun squinted to see each step through the rain. “Whoa!” he cried as he slipped and landed on his knee.
“Are you hurt?” Grandfather asked. He leaned down to look at the hole in Min-Jun’s trousers.
“It’s just a scrape,” Min-Jun said, his voice shaking.
“Let’s fix it up at the church,” said Grandfather.
Min-Jun and Grandfather climbed the rest of the stairs and turned onto the upper road.
“The wind is worse up here,” said Grandfather, clutching his umbrella. Min-Jun could barely control his umbrella. Suddenly a gust of wind came and flipped it inside out, tearing the umbrella at the seams. Min-Jun’s shoulders drooped.
Grandfather held out his umbrella. “Come under mine. We’re almost there.”
Min-Jun and Grandfather shared the umbrella, but it didn’t do much to keep out the constant rain. As they came near the church, Min-Jun heard music playing.
“They’ve already started!” Min-Jun ran to the front doors. Then he saw his reflection in the glass. His hair was matted and dripping, his trousers were torn, and his shoes were muddy. He shrank away from the door and back down the steps.
“I … I can’t go in,” Min-Jun stuttered.
“You’re just fine,” said Grandfather.
“But I’m all dirty and wet!”
Grandfather looked at Min-Jun, then looked at the rain gauge tied to the fence.
“It’s easy to measure the rain, Min-Jun, but how do we measure ourselves?”
Min-Jun blinked up at Grandfather.
“You see muddy shoes, a scraped knee, and messy hair, and you think you don’t measure up to much,” Grandfather said. “But Jesus Christ has a better way of measuring. He sees your heart and knows that you’re doing what’s right. If you measure yourself His way, you’ll see that the gauge is overflowing.”
Min-Jun looked at the rain gauge. It kept rising with each raindrop. He thought of how hard he had worked to get to church and how warm and happy he felt when he was there. He thought about how much he loved the Savior and how much the Savior loved him.
Min-Jun hugged Grandfather, and together they walked into church.