This morning I woke up and read the news as usual...you may recall my post on Coffee With Gaddafi from this summer. Catching up on news is a regular part of my morning routine. This morning when I read the news I froze.
What? Kim Jong Il??? It is amazing how the world can change while you sleep. Twitter & facebook were full of posts on the topic. I'd check the news periodically and watch interviews of people in North Korea weeping on the streets as they gave interviews. Weeping from the loss of a leader.
This was a man who kept his entire country isolated from the rest of the world while personally having a movie collection of somewhere between 10,000-20,000 films. While 2 million North Koreans died in the mid-90s from famine - he was spending $800,000 a year on his favorite cognac. Not to mention the political & religious persecution. This wasn't a nice man. And yet, his death left a nation in tears. Stunned & shocked.
Moments when famously unjust people die, I seem to have a deep pause of reflection. Maybe you remember my post Reflections On Bin Laden? I got some very negative feedback from some people for that one. And yet, here I go. About to write another one...
I wonder what it was like for him in those last moments. Was he remorseful? He must have known he was disliked by nearly the entire world. How much did that weigh on his heart & did he think of it in his last fleeting moments? Did he feel alone?
Even more I wonder about his son, Kim Jong-un, who will be his successor. A man in his late 20s who is grieving the loss of his father. Not only that, but who just took on the weight of nation and the baggage of his father's choices. Does he agree with his dad? Is he scared? Will he have the courage to change things? I can't imagine being in charge of a hated government and a nation crumbling. Much less to work with people who are a bit eager to showcase their nuclear capability.
I bet he didn't sleep at all last night. It is a silent night in North Korea. A pause, a break, an end and a beginning. People desperate and frightened. A young man burdened with unimaginable weight. I wonder what God is doing. I know He is moving from household to household comforting & revealing Himself as a good shepherd.
I know He is giving Kim Jong-un an invitation. An invitation to be different, to do the right thing, to love instead of hate. An invitation to know Him. Comforting a son who lost a dad. I know God is pursing him. I hope Kim Jong-un is listening.
It's a nation starving in every way. No one knows what the next chapter holds. It is a silent night & a holy night. A night where Peace comes and comforts those who mourn. A Plan who enters when all things seem confused. A Shepherd who gathers those that are lost. It is a night that a King visits a kingdom and offers leadership. The night when Jesus looks at Kim Jong-un and tells him it doesn't have to be this way.
Lets all pray for North Korea on this silent & holy night. Jesus was born in a manger thousands of years ago with nights like this one in mind. This is why He came in the first place. To bring hope to the darkness.