Pick Me Up
The children were all shouting the same thing, but with only 60 hours of conversational Korean, I couldn’t make out what they were saying.
So I asked Molly what the children were saying. “Oh,” Chaplain Hunt, “they are saying pick me up.” I responded that having left my youngest son, aged six months at that time, and asleep in his bed when I left for Korea, I was ready to pick up some kids.
I threw my web gear and steel pot against the wall and began to toss kids into the air. They responded to each toss with screams of delight. After I had tossed 30 or so, and was working up a sweat, I asked Molly how many kids were there. “Five hundred,” she answered. She knew that I could never be able to lift all 500 of them, and told me to let her know when I had enough and she would take me out a side door.
Molly Holt, daughter of founders Harry and Bertha Holt, was now running the Harry Holt Adoption Agency; Harry having died, and Bertha back in Oregon to take care of business.
I was visiting their center in Il San, Korea, in 1966, while serving as chaplain for the 3rd Brigade, 7th Infantry Division. When we deployed on a training exercise near Il San I asked our surgeon to accompany me on a visit to the orphanage.
Pick me up! The children’s requests remain in my psyche to this very day. Their pleas, their childish needs, reminded me that my roll as a Christian minister is to lift people up. And isn’t that your responsibility too, regardless of your faith group?