Monday, September 27, 2004

Altar Call

This is a story I heard from a Korean gentleman long ago. It still breaks me up every time I think about it. My attempt to retell it won't do the story much justice, not only because I am a mediocre story teller, but because of the untranslatable humorous cultural nuances.

Shortly after the end of the Korean war, a young idealistic Christian evangelist went on a preaching circuit in remote rural villages to hold revival meetings, not unlike the Billy Graham Crusade gatherings.

The first night, a handful of curious villagers showed up to hear the stranger promote a religion that they never heard of. The young preacher stood behind the podium and presented the good news to the skeptical crowd, after which he invited them to an altar call. But to his dismay, nobody was moved to respond to the call to repentance.

Undaunted, the preacher persisted through the following evening, but still with no visible results. But he noticed in the crowd an old lady in her 80' who showed up every evening, sat in the front row, and wept uncontrollably through the entire message. Convinced that his message finally resonated with at least one person, his voice grew more feverish and poundings on the podium more frequent and louder.

Yet another altar call came and went with no new converts. The old lady wept through the message again, and excused herself without saying a word. At the conclusion of another fruitless meeting the following day, the preacher decided to catch up with the lady before she made a quick exit.

Preacher: Ma'am, would you like to take a step to receive Jesus?
Lady: (blank look on her face while wiping tears off her face). Come again? Jesus, who?

Preacher: (obviously take aback) Jesus can cure your troubled heart and wipe your tears. Can you tell me what has been troubling you.
Lady: Well, sir. My mutt that I had for 10 years died last week. I miss him terribly. He was a great dog. He was my constant companion. The only companion.

And sir, you look just like him (starts weeping again uncontrollably..)


At September 27, 2004 7:43 PM, Blogger Jenny said...



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