Like many other 16-year-old seminary students throughout the world, Kim Tae Whan had studied Luke chapter 10, Christ’s parable of the Good Samaritan.
“But he [the lawyer], willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
“And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
“And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
“And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.” (Luke 10:29–33.)
Because of varying standards of life and the aftereffects of a war, there are many underprivileged children in Tae Whan’s homeland, Korea. Many live with only the barest of necessities, their parents giving all to get them through school. But Tae Whan is fortunate. The Kim family is better off than most families.
One morning Tae Whan asked his mother, “Mom, will you fix me another lunch today?” Mrs. Kim prepared another lunch, thinking that her son was growing so fast that he needed a little something extra to eat. Every day afterwards she would prepare an extra lunch for him to take.
One day Dr. Kim received a telephone call at work from a close friend.
“Hello, Dr. Kim. How is your family doing nowadays?”
“Why … they’re great!” replied Dr. Kim cheerfully.
The two friends talked back and forth until Mr. Lee blurted out, “Are you sure your family isn’t having any problems lately?”
Pausing, Dr. Kim answered quizzically, “Why? What’s wrong?”
“Dr. Kim, I saw Tae Whan down on the corner peddling newspapers the other day.”
“You what? Are you sure?”
“I’m positive! I was just concerned about your family’s welfare and wanted to check with you.”
Dr. Kim sat that afternoon in the office puzzled, wondering why Tae Whan would do such a thing and not mention a word to anyone. That night after dinner, Dr. Kim quietly waited for the opportunity to talk to his son. Finally he said, “Tae Whan, could I speak to you for a minute?”
“Why sure, Dad.”
“Son, I got a call today from Mr. Lee. He said he saw you downtown selling papers the other day. Is that true?”
Tae Whan answered sheepishly, “Yes, Dad, but I did it to help a classmate. He didn’t have a lunch so I’ve been giving my extra one to him. And for every paper we sell, we earn 40 won (8¢).”
“Son, why are you doing this? You should have asked me first.”
“But, Dad, every time I help my friend, I feel I’m becoming more like the Good Samaritan. Besides that, I want to help my classmates who aren’t as fortunate as I. It’s not that big of a thing I am doing. I read about it in my seminary manual and felt it was the thing I ought to do.”
Tae Whan knows the meaning of the Savior’s commandment: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” (Luke 10:27.)