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The Metal Collector

(Dae Kim)

There once was an old man who lived in South Korea. After the war, times were hard and life wasn't easy. His occupation was that of a metal collector (the lowest job possible at the time). He would search garbage can after garbage can looking for scraps of metal which he could sell to the government. He earned a ten dollars and spent only five to buy food. He lived in a hut which he built on the mountain side and was a very lonely person. He lived a sad life for his face was severely scarred from a fire which killed his family. No one would look at him because he was so grotesquely scarred and because of this he kept very quiet and avoided people when he could. His main goal in life was to save enough money to fix his face so he could live a normal life.

Now there was a orphan who lived in the streets every day. His parents left him when he was only nine and because of malnutrition the boy lost his sight. Every day the boy begged for food but the people beat him and he couldn't even run away because he was blind. The old man saw the broken hearted boy and felt sympathy for him and took him home. There he fed him, clothed him, and treated him like his own beloved son. The boy was joyful and was so grateful to this person who treated him like a loving father. Years passed and one day he said, "I'm sorry for being so useless. I wish my eyes become better so I could help you work. You must be so beautiful and wonderful because you took care of someone like me. Maybe one day I could see your wonderful face." The old man became silent being too moved to say anything.

The next day he went to the hospital with the and asked the doctor privately how much it would cost for the surgery to heal his face. The doctor told him around a thousand dollars. He asked again how much it would be to heal the young boy's sight. The doctor said fifteen hundred dollars will do. He had saved up for ten years and had around a little more than fifteen hundred. He went up to the young boy and said, "After you receive your sight I can't be with you, yet I shall always think of you. I want you to be happy and live a good life." After these words he paid the doctor and the tired man left knowing he could never truly reveal himself to the one he loved so dearly. After the surgery the boy could see again. He was filled with joy and wondered why he couldn't see the one he loved so dearly. He left and started looking for a job and soon found one at a restaurant. He became a waiter there and worked full time earning a good amount. The next day the old man came looking for metals to collect. He started searching around the garbage can of the restaurant when the manager came to tell him to leave because he was scaring the customers. The boy soon came to his side threatening the old man to leave also. The metal collector looked at the boy and he smiled a warm smile at the boy and left not wanting the boy to see him cry his happy tears. Later at the restaurant the manager said to the boy, "what an ugly man". The boy's reply was, "I know, I hope I never see him again." When I wrote this I wanted people to feel something in their hearts. I wanted them to be moved and say, "hey this isnít right, the old man shouldnít have to suffer like that." Itís like how Jesus loves us though. He does so much for us and yet he we donít care for his existence. Imagine how that old man must be feeling. Weíre like that boy and that old man who loves us so much is Jesus. He is ever faithful and is an all loving God. I pray that this will help you understand the love of God a little better.


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