Coming back to life, the story behind my name
My mother told me that when I was three months old, I was almost buried alive.
At that time, I had jaundice; my skin was yellowish and I had difficulty breathing. I was sickly, frail, and so close to death. So, my mother covered my body with a thin comforter and pushed me to a cold corner of the room. She had planned to bury me in the hill behind the house at night. Everything had been prepared already – my mother had a pick and an earthen jar outside the house to bury me in.
When night fell, she picked me up and carried me to bury me. Even if he’s already dead, let me just look at him one more time before I bury him. She thought.
So, she pulled back the thin blanket. Looking at me with my eyelids tightly closed, she said silently:
“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.”
My Mum's grief
But in that moment as she was about to pull the blanket over me, my eyes flew open! She looked at me as I blinked several times and closed my eyes. Yet although my eyes were alive, my body was completely stiff and dead. My mother cried. 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 my eyes were still alive. So, after she covered me again, she squatted next to me and kept watching. She thought in despair: “What’s the use that he is alive only in the eyes? When 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 a thin comforter and peeked at 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, 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 chided 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 that my fingers were moving too. As time passed, the swelling of my face subsided and by that afternoon, I was showing signs of recovery, and by 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 (명 Seok)’, because she thought I would live a long life. All my siblings’ names were given by my grandfather, but I was the only one who was named by my mother. She was deeply inspired by how I died and came back to life.
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 for 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.
You too, 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 every day following only the Lord’s Will, thanking Him and realizing how he saved my life.