Few days ago, I attended an extended education conference of my denomination (C&MA) where Rev. Paul I. Sohn (손인식 목사님) was the speaker. As a pastor of a large/healthy church (Bethany Church) the distilling of his experience was precious; With ambition for a big church and a dream to be teachers of pastors, I sought him out for a one to one mentoring. I wanted to extract as many techniques of ministry as possible. But I got what I did not expect and would not have gone if I had known beforehand. I thank God for the grace of ignorance so I can be trapped by God’s love.
I went to Rev. Sohn’s room with my wife, hoping my wife would “overhear” the necessary qualities of a succesful pastor’s wife so she could make the adjustments to help me in my career. But the coversation went off track and before I knew it, my eyes filled with repentative tears as I came to see my selfish ways with the one most dear.
I think I would have fought this realization to the last dying breath except that Rev Sohn exposed me by opening his life, sharing from his marriage life, from the brink of destruction to a transformed Eden. His vulnerability defused all my defensive mechnisms.
Now I am not at a place where I can share the details of my repentance, for I am still in the process of it, a “metanoia,” but I do see things differently. Since then, even the scripture speaks to me with great clarity. All this time I had thought I could plumb the depth of scripture through my seminary trained intellect. I realize that purity is a better exegesis tool (“Blessed are the pure..for they shall see God”).