The picture is the iconic image of a Vietnamese girl, naked, burned by napalm as she runs down a road.
The girl is Kim Phuc, and her life could have ended in that moment. It didn’t. She has taken an extraordinary journey and has not let that searing moment in her life define her:
Despite the fear that no one would want her, Kim is now married and has two sons. She says her conversion from the Cao Dai religion to Christianity at the age of 19 changed everything. “And when I read in John 14:6, where Jesus say, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except by Me,’ I was really confused,” she told Griffith. “Oh, my religion different and why Jesus say that? I keep searching. And finally in Christmas 1982, I became a Christian.” “How did that help you forgive the people that dropped the bombs that burned you?” Griffith asked. “The picture of Jesus Christ when they put Him on the cross and they kill Him, so Jesus say, Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing,” she replied. “So that picture, that words, Lord, help me to do the same thing like you did. And I started to pray for my enemies, and the more I prayed for my enemies the softer my heart became,” she said. Dr. David McDaniel, director of the McDaniel Laser & Cosmetic Center in Virginia Beach, is a pioneer in laser technology. He said Kim’s story reminds him that although doctors and nurses treat the outside, it’s Jesus who heals the heart. “There’s a very famous sign in a mission hospital in Africa that says, ‘Doctors and nurses treat but Jesus heals.’ We’re just the hands and feet,” McDaniel said. “So it’s a great privilege to help her and there are a lot of heroes, they’re not just warriors, they’re children and everyday people from every walk of life that have been burned or wounded.”
Read the whole thing. And check out Jane Pauley’s interview with Kim Phuc from last year on CBS’s Sunday Morning:
Photo: Creative Commons / Nic Ut / Associated Press