The war memorial I made a beeline for, and at which I took more pictures, was not what I thought. All this time I thought it was the Vietnam memorial because of the statues of the soldiers. Today, after the fact, I learned that it was the memorial to the Korean War. WOW.
Things look different in the daylight hours if you first saw them at with night light. Today, in broad daylight, I saw the memorial differently.
I was stunned and struck by the body counts. Dead. Missing. Captured. Wounded. These are my photos. The numbers on the left are for the United States, and for the United Nations on the right.
Over 54,000 dead. More than 8,000 missing. Upwards of 7,000 captured, over 100,000 wounded. Again, WOW. There is a metaphor in the African-American church that we serve the Lord as soldiers.
Baptists sing, “I’m on the battlefield for my Lord. I am on the battlefield for my Lord, and I promised Him that I, I would serve Him ’til I die. I’m on the battlefield for my Lord.” Charismatics sing in a call and response way, “I’m a soldier (in the army of the Lord). I’m a soldier (in the army). I’m a soldier (in the army of the Lord). I’m a soldier (in the army).” Then the verses continue… “I’ve got my war clothes on (in the army of the Lord)… If I die, let me die (in the army of the Lord)…” and so on.
We know how to honor the dead in Christ. We all — not just African-Americans — remember death anniversaries and testify to lives of faith in Jesus Christ, and powerful witnesses for Him.
We honor the wounded, IF we deem the circumstances around their injury worthy of honor. If in the service of the Lord, then we honor the wounded first for surviving and then for thriving.
While I looked at these numbers, I wondered what the Lord’s church does about the missing and the captured. Who are these groups? The missing cannot be accounted for by man in the church. They were with us, but not now. They had place and voice and gift to share, but not now. WHERE ARE THE MISSING?
Finally, we fight for the captured, those in a backslidden state and taken by the enemy. The problem is the fight is tedious, and long, and many do not stay the course to secure absolute victory. The fight is haphazard and on occasion, random.
But our chief aim is the freedom of the captured. Look at this soldier.
Isn’t his pose powerful? What is he saying? What was his role? Was he good at it? Did he inspire his fellow soldiers? Was he a family man? What traditions did he uphold in his family? How many children did he raise?
Now, consider the missing and the captured. Who are they and, who are they to God?
All do not have to be lost. They can be saved and found in Christ. Let’s not glaze over in “good church” antics, and forget to pray for the missing and captured. Let the weak say, “I am strong,” and let’s seek the Lord for the strategy for their release. Love to all. SELAH.