Study Guide

A Step from Heaven Chapter 3

By An Na

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Chapter 3

Only God Can

  • This chapter doesn't play around—it starts immediately with Halmoni telling Young Ju to pray to God so that everything can get better.
  • She even recites the first line of a prayer: "Dear Father who art in heaven."
  • Young Ju's curious; she wants to know where heaven is. (Good question, right?)
  • Halmoni tries to finagle her way out of that one by saying that heaven is where Harabugi is, where God is, and that as a place it is good and loving.
  • Talk about pulling a fast one on Young Ju.
  • Young Ju believes her and asks if she can go there too.
  • Halmoni says someday, but only if she prays and loves God.
  • Young Ju says she will, but in truth God completely wigs her out because the picture of him in church is scary.
  • But Young Ju's willing to do anything—even deal with a scary-looking God—so long as she can see heaven and Harabugi.
  • She also wants to know if they can go to heaven right away, but Halmoni quickly puts an end to that idea and tells her that heaven is in the sky and far away.
  • Then Halmoni tells her to—you guessed it—pray while Halmoni reads the Bible.
  • Young Ju basically pretends to pray.
  • When she opens her eyes, she sees Halmoni seriously feeling the Spirit; Halmoni's rocking away while reading the Bible.
  • This reminds Young Ju: why is it that God makes a new name for himself (Jesus)?
  • Young Ju wouldn't mind having that same power, but Halmoni tells her she shouldn't be foolish.
  • Then Young Ju starts looking at a picture of Harabugi on the wall (clearly, Young Ju isn't feeling the Spirit), and she notices that Harabugi has nice "sleepy eyes" like "cats in the sun."
  • Her Apa has the same eyes too. And the same hair. Those genes are definitely strong.
  • At this point, Young Ju finally settles into a purpose; she starts praying to Harabugi.
  • She wants Harabugi to send God down so he can be Jesus and spank Apa, so Apa will be nice all the time.
  • Like that time (flashback alert) when Apa brought their dog Mi Shi home.
  • Uhmma wasn't down with the dog then, but Apa pulled a puppy-dog face and pointed out that Mi Shi was just a puppy dog too.
  • Who wouldn't laugh at that? Uhmma did and said the dog looked just like Apa, which is how Mi Shi got to stay and be friends with Young Ju.
  • Young Ju ends her prayer with the fact that she likes Apa when he's nice and when Uhmma makes her "squeaky-shoes laugh."
  • When Young Ju opens her eyes, she notices Halmoni peeking at her. Halmoni wants to know what that prayer was all about.
  • Young Ju gives the short version—that she wants God to come down and spank Apa.
  • Halmoni says, "He is the only one who can."

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