Coming back to life, the story behind my name
This was a story told to me by my mother: She said that when I was about three months old, I almost died from jaundice. My skin turn yellowish in color and had difficulty breathing. I was so sick and was dying. When I almost died, my mother covered my body completely with a thin comforter and pushed me to a cold corner of the room. She planned to bury me in an earthen jar at the hill behind the house when the night falls. She had already prepared a pick and an earthen jar outside the house. It is really horrifying, it sends chill down my spine just thinking about it.
When the time arrived, she picked me up and carried me in her arms to bury me.
Although he is already dead, but let me just look at him one more time before I bury him.
she thought. She pulled back a corner of the thin blanket and uncovered only my face. Looking at me with my eyelids tightly closed, she said,
This is the last time. Good bye. I couldn’t save you and now I let you go. I’m very sorry. Dear God, please let this child go to a wonderful world.
Under the dim light of a small kerosene lamp, at the moment she was about to pull the blanket over me for the last time, I suddenly opened my eyes! As she looked at me, my eyes blinked several times and closed again. She saw that my body was completely dead and stiff, but my eyes were still alive and thought,
You struggled with all your strength to open your eyes so you could see your mom one last time before you leave. Thank you my child, good bye.
She could not bear to bury me since at least my eyes were still alive. So after she covered me again, she squatted next to me and kept watching. She thought, “What’s the use that he is alive only in the eyes? When the life has gone from his eyes too, I will carry him out and bury him.’ 40 minutes later, she lifted the covering from me once more and saw me open my eyes and blink again!
Since my eyes still had life, she felt hopeful and could not bury me. She kept me covered with the thin comforter and peeked to see me every now and then. I was so weak that I would only blink a couple of times and close my eyes again. She could not do anything but keep watching. She spent the whole night like that.
The next day, at dawn, her mother-in-law asked her, “Did you bury the child?” My mother replied, “I wanted to see his face one more time before burying him. When I lifted the cover, he blinked his eyes. So I wondered if he would live. I spent the whole night awake.”
Then her mother-in-law told her, “How could the child live? It’s not that he’s alive. It’s only the blinking of the eyes before he dies. He will not survive this morning and he will die before noon. Just go prepare breakfast.”
After my mother set the breakfast table, she went back to take a look at me. Then she saw my fingers move a little too. As time passed, the swelling of my face subsided and by that afternoon, I recovered a lot more, and on the third day, I fully came back to life. Only then, my mother could believe that it was God who saved my life. A person coming back to life is truly a miraculous joyous event.
My mother told me the story of how I survived. After that event, she named me, ‘Myung Seok,’ for she thought I would live a long time. All my siblings names were given by my grandfather, but i’m the only one who was named by my mother, who was deeply inspired by how I died and came back to life.
명: Some Korean letters sound the same while having different meaning when put in Chinese characters. Here, 명(命) and 명(明) sound the same but have different meaning. The first 명 means, ‘life/lifespan/teaching/command,’ and the last, ‘bright/intelligent/light/dawn.’
The Chinese character for my name, ‘Myung’, means ‘bright.’ Just as the sun and the moon bury themselves behind the clouds and surface again, my life also dipped and surfaced in the past. The sun and the moon exist as long as the time allotted by the Creator. A good name is a name with a good meaning. The Bible says this too.
I realized that the Lord had named me through my mother. In later days, while I was carrying out the work that the Lord entrusted to me, the second letter of my name, ‘Seok’ 锡 was changed to the ‘Seok’ 析 which means ‘to split, to interpret, or to be intelligent,’ based on the message of Matthew 3:10. In this way, together with the Lord, I made history splitting good and evil, and the old time and new time, by delivering the Word of God.
Everyone, you need to live up to the meaning of your name. I shared the story of how I died and came to life. Satan made me ill and tried to take my life away, but because the Lord saved me, I live my life only for him. Even now, I live everyday following only the Lord’s Will, thanking Him and realizing how he saved my life.