I remember clearly the peaceful, bright Sunday afternoon in Gageum-ri, South Korea where this picture was taken. It was not necessarily the taking of the picture that I remember so clearly as it was the location at which I took it.
You see, after church on that spring morning earlier this year, the Moon family invited me to go with them on a field trip. And this was not your typical outing. It was an eye-opening, soul-stirring excursion to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. As I stood gazing across the Han River marveling in the fact that I, an American with innumerable freedoms, honorable responsibilities and the independence to travel when and where I pleased could stand with overwhelming tranquility while looking on a land of complete oppression and poverty, I couldn’t help but remember the words of Scripture so applicably written: “If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for He that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they” (Ecclesiastes 5:8).
The colorful flowers covering the landscape that so attractively complemented the lively swallowtails flittering about in their habitual routine stood in stark contrast to the poignant mood of the place. However, there is hope even for places like North Korea. As is seen in history, and as Abigail Adams pointed out in this letter to her husband during the early stages of the birth of freedom as we know it today, “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but the God of Israel is He that giveth strength and power unto His people. Trust in Him at all times, ye people, pour out your hearts before Him; God is a refuge for us.”
And He wills to be a refuge for all. This message of hope was one of the main reasons I chose this picture to be one of only 12 pictures chosen for Lenspiration’s 2012 Calendar, now available for purchase online at Lenspiration.com.