Anglican Morning Devotion for 19 February 2022 Anno Domin
, a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.”
(Psalms 22:26; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
“Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. 8When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. 9Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. 10When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. 11Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. 12Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. 13I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” (Psalms 27:7-14)
Some of my readers may take exception to the title written in Korean script, but you will know more by and by as I relate to you the story of woman of Korea who knew many sorrows but turned them to simple joys. I will call her by the title she was most known by for the greater part of her life – Kitty Halmoni (Cat Grand -Mother). I attended her funeral today officiated by Pastor Kim, her friend and minister. She was 93 years old.
I have known Kitty Halmoni for the past several decades. Her life was filled with tragedy and abuse. She told me that she came to America as a young woman who had married an American non-commissioned officer. She could barely speak enough English to express her most fundamental thoughts.
Not long after coming to Ft. Rucker with his newly acquired bride, the soldier took her to a very remote country road. The car broke down, and the soldier left the young Korean bride to fend for herself in a strange land of rural setting. For a few weeks, she told me, she lived out of the car picking roots and potatoes from nearby fields. She was discovered by members of a church who set her up in a small trailer. She was very lonely and isolated where there were few Korean people at the time. Having no other friends, she took up the care of the many stray cats who came to her door begging food.
She worked many minimum pay jobs in order to feed herself and the thirty-eight cats she came to claim. In the last several years of her life, before being committed to a nursing home, she bagged groceries at the US Army Commissary at Ft. Rucker. But even though her wages were meager, she nonetheless saved money for her long-desired prayer facility – Gethsemane Prayer Garden.
She purchased a trailer, pulpit, pews, and other furnishings for her Prayer Garden. She held prayer services twice each week and held church services on Sunday after her regular church service at a local Korean church concluded. Most of the time she was the only participant, but she never faltered in her devotion to prayer and her care of her pets. She loved animals and once, when visiting my home, she castigated my wife for not putting out water vessels for local wildlife.
Pastor Kim said Kitty Halmoni began saying the Lord’s Prayer one hundred times per day, and later, increased to five hundred times a day. This may seem a bit profuse to some, but saying those prayers kept her mind on God, and not the world, almost every minute of the day.
Kitty Halmoni was not well educated. Her understanding of deep theological matters that occupy the minds so many who love to debate religion rather than practice it was not at all sophisticated. But neither was the teachings of Christ above the heads of children. One leading consideration occupied her mind always – Christ was her Lord and Savior.
Kitty Halmoni was visited by the wife of Pastor Kim on the day before her death last week. Kitty Halmoni told Mrs. Kim that she was about to die. Mrs. Kim, who visited this old saint regularly, said, “Why, no, you are not going to die – you are going to be transformed into a beautiful and healthy child of God.” Halmoni smiled and agreed.
Kitty Halmoni had few friends this side of the Gates of Splendor, but she had a Friend that is greater than all the friends even of a wealthy person – the Lord Jesus Christ. Old and broken in body, she passed through the gossamer veil of Heaven’s Gate to “a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
Many of us pride ourselves on our church attendance and charity, but have we sacrificed all for Christ even as Halmoni did in her life? Have we loved and fed the creatures of the street and prayed faithfully even when no one else seemed to care? Pastor Kim today told the story of a saint of little resources, and less renoun, which will gain much treasure in heaven.