Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

May 29, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Inchon, Korea is a fascinating place, or at least it was over 40 years ago.  Obviously, many things have changed.  Today, it promotes a rail system, shopping malls, and the largest airport in Korea.  Another major change is the name.  In 2000, the name was changed to Incheon.

This large port was the location of a a strategic landing during the Korean War.  Here a United Nations offensive moved north across Korea, resulting in a decisive victory for the U.N. forces.  Forty years ago, there was still much evidence of the war and its impact upon the people.  They still recoiled at the mention of the war.  They still remembered how often they had to take shelter and hover for fear.

One young lady gave me a gift of a chalk drawing of President Kennedy.  He was their symbol of peace and hope. He was their hero in so many ways.  Her brother had made a special frame for it.  She assumed that all Americans shared their admiration of him, and  this gift was an expression of union between us.  The people were not as friendly as I had found in other places in Korea.  I contributed it to years of fear.

Yet, more notable names in Korea reflected the war.  Cities such as Pohang, Pusan, and Taejon.  My favorite place was Chonju, of which I must tell you one day!  Devastated in World War II, when all their trees were cut to provide material for the Japanese, and then caught in the cross-fire in the Korean War,  they were the most optimistic people I have ever met.  But that will be another story later!

Inchon demonstrated a stiffness, as I would describe it.  It was all business.  Today, there is plenty of excitement and activity as years have brought a new generation.  Tourists have obviously changed the demeanor, but in those days there would simply be an exchange in conversation as was needed for business or such.  There were few smiles or laughter.

One of the unique things about Inchon is the number of underground malls they have today.  Yet, years ago they had developed an underground area for security and trade.  It was fascinating to see how seemingly more commerce happened underground than above.  As the shops and stalls were reminders of the fears of war, even more it recalled that terrible war and the cost to the Korean people.

You could not spend long there without opposing war, whatever the reason.  The scars on the people  involved, whether ally or enemy, would exist for generations. Our Lord said there would be wars, but that does not imply His desire.  War is the result of the heart of man.  Only a world where Christ controls the hearts can war be avoided.  He desired to bring peace!  The peace that He gives can reign in a life regardless of the world events.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  (John 14:22)  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)


(Related blogs:   January 29, 2010, entitled Never Too Old; February 20, 2010, entitled The Price of Value; April 1, 2010, entitled My time in Jail . . . and Prison.


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