Entering the De-militarized Zone I felt a combination of curiosity and “fear”. As we went past the South Korean guards, a sense of excitement rose. This place could become a war zone again. The DMZ is a monument to the fact that there is a tense relationship between North and South Korea, demonstrating an uneasy relationship between communism and democracy, between the US and China. There is this same animosity between so many people groups in our world. The need for reconciliation is clear.
What gave me a lump in my throat was the tremendous slaughter that happened during the Korean war. One of my uncles was killed there. Many citizens were killed. But also, how fragile the divided county is now, each side ready to show its strength. The possibility of war still hovers over the country.
The hope of being a unified country is expressed by the words written on a building at the DMZ. “The end of separation, the beginning of reunification”. This hope seems at a stalemate. South Korea flourishes while North Korea is in poverty. It is symbol of the struggle between the East and the West. This animosity is everywhere in the world. There seems to be in every nation a tension between peoples either ethic, religious or political.
This leadership journey already is challenging one. For Christian leaders are to work for reconciliation. As the apostle Paul points out, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he have us this wonderful message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19). Christ came to end the separation between us and God and the hostility between people. But unification is a struggle. We don’t yet see it happening. Koreans long to be reunited. Reconciliation has been such a inspirational idea for me. Now it seems more like a struggle.
Christianity has helped the health of South Korea. But now it’s influence is waining.The Christian leaders were very open about it and their concern for Korean spirituality. So I go back to the thought of reconciliation and realize how difficult this can be. The struggles in Korean nationally seem beyond reach. Certainly there is not an easy answer. So as I lead in my city, to work with far less traumatic issues, I realize the calling to bring people together is not simple or easy. I still feel it worth it even when the stakes seems overwhelming. #dimlgp