Chang Lee survived two brutal wars in his mother country, Korea. He lived through the dangers posed by Japanese bombs, Chinese howitzers, North Korean minefields and American carbines. But he did not survive an encounter with a mugger in the hallway of his own apartment in the U.S. He was brutally stabbed, and died at the age of 80.
Chang Lee’s family were members of the parish I served in Queens. Two hundred people came to the funeral. Lessons and prayers were offered in English and Korean. The casket was set up like a Shinto shrine, with pictures of the deceased, flowers and two posters with Korean ideograms. One poster gave biographical details; the other, the 23rd Psalm.
Stephen Paul Bouman is executive director of Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and author of Grace All Around Us: Embracing God's Promise in Tragedy and Loss.