Friday, April 18, 2014

My Heart Lies Beneath Korean Waves

Somehow, my heart lies below the waterline somewhere between the Korean mainland and Jeju Island. I can't get the deaths out of my head of the Korean high school students who perished on that ferry boat  The ferry's captain was a coward who escaped the ship in the first lifeboat. He never gave instructions on how to flee the boat before escaping and saving himself. A crew member said they had never practiced evacuating the ferry, so no one knew what to do.
There are 271 people missing, and certainly most, if not all, are dead. If you've ever watched Korean TV you know that Jeju island is the island of romance. I think of the teenagers who had never been kissed, but probably had a crush on some fellow student. They will never grow up to experience mature love. The girls will never hold their own children in their arms. The guys who think they're losers, will never find out they have special qualities that make them valuable to Korean society.
 Before I was a college professor I was a substitute teacher in K-12 to pay for graduate school. I saw the yearning. the fears, the questions on the faces of my students and felt for them. Because I believe God made us all the same, it's not hard for me to connect with those that have perished in this horrendous tragedy.
The sinking on Wednesday has many wondering why only one lifeboat was available, with the 45 others locked up with chains. There is a special spot in hell waiting for the ferry captain, but it will be of small comfort for the parents who've had their hearts ripped apart.

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