Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Known But to God

I recieved an email from the Avant Magazine editor this week regarding the picture below. I have thought a lot about this and wanted to share the exchange with my readers.

The email to me read:


I am trying to write a magazine photo caption for the picture where you are kneeling at the Normandy cross … but I can’t quite make out the wording on the cross. Can you? I might use it in the caption, depending on what it says …

A few other questions: Why were you visiting Normandy during your survey trip? Did you feel drawn there? What struck you about the cemetery … in terms of a missions parallel?


This was my reply:

The caption reads:
“Here rests in honored glory
A comrade in arms
Know but to God”

We went there to spend one day of sight-seeing. I actually didn't want to go. I would have rather gone up the Eiffel Tower but everyone else wanted to go and I had never been, so I went along. When we got there I was blown away by what I saw. I spent a short time in the Army so I was profoundly affected at the enormous sacrifice of human life in order to stop an evil dictator from taking over the world. I felt the honor, duty, and country that so many scared young Americans and Brits must have felt before the mission started knowing that they probably would not make it through that day. I was so proud of these young men for following orders in spite of the fact that they would likely pay with their lives. We owe our freedom to these men. They were brave men; honorable men; heroes. Tears come to my eyes just writing this. The hardest part was realizing that many, probably the majority, of the 9000+ Americans in the cemetery at Normandy did not know Christ and went on to spend a Christ-less eternity in Hell. What does it mean to be a brave, honorable, hero without Christ? The unknown soldier was “known but to God”, but did they know Him?

Planting churches is the only way I know that we can prevent a similar tragedy in the future. If our allies in Europe died for western freedom today, the percentage of believers would be far less.

I’m not sure that I knew it then, but now I realize that this trip to Normandy really strengthened my resolve to plant a church in France.

Thanks for asking. I needed to remember that day. Pray that God will allow me one day to make a difference.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...


That is a beautiful picture. My Dad was a soldier who landed at Normandy on D Day +1. He made it to St. Lo before being shot and sent back to the States. In 1995, he and my mother visited the cemetery at Normandy, and they were amazed that so many French people there came up to them and thanked my Dad for what he and America did. At some point on their trip, as they were walking they came to a small knoll. My Dad stopped, and said, "This is where I was shot." Amazing that he would remember the exact spot 50 years later, but he was certain of it.

Take care.
Elizabeth Beatty