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The Girl In The Picture Finds Forgiveness And Faith

Forgiveness Bitterness Healing

Source: "Do you know what happened to the girl in this iconic Pulitzer prize winning photo from the Vietnam War?" by Dr Peter Saunders, 30 Aug 2013, published various, including the Perdana Global Peace Foundation, September 11, 2013

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-09-30

Author: Dr. Peter Saunders


Do you know what happened to the little naked girl running for her life in the iconic Pulitzer prize winning photo* from the Vietnam War? Dr. Peter Saunders does. He had the privilege of meeting her recently, and recounts her story: 

8 June 1972, a plane bombed the village of Trang Bang, near Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) in South Vietnam after the South Vietnamese pilot mistook a group of civilians leaving the temple for enemy troops.

The bombs contained napalm, a highly flammable fuel, which killed and badly burned the people on the ground.

The iconic black-and-white image taken of children fleeing the scene won the Pulitzer Prize and was chosen as the World Press Photo of the Year in 1972.

It communicated the horrors of the Vietnam War in a way words never could, helping to end one of the most divisive wars in American history and later becoming a symbol of the cruelty of all wars for children and civilian victims.

In the centre of the photo was a nine year old girl, who ran naked down the highway after stripping off her burning clothes.

Kim Phuc Phan Thi was with her family at the pagoda attending a religious celebration when the plane struck and lost several relatives in the attack. The children running with her were her own brothers and sisters. …

Kim remained hospitalized for 14 months, and underwent 17 surgical procedures, until she recovered from the burns.

Grateful for the care she had received she later decided to study medicine but struggled to come to terms with her deep physical and psychological scars.

‘My heart was exactly like a black coffee cup,’ she said. ‘I wished I died in that attack with my cousin. I wish I died at that time so I won’t suffer like that anymore … it was so hard for me to carry all that burden with that hatred, with that anger and bitterness.’

But it was as a second year medical student in Saigon that she discovered a New Testament in the university library, committed her life to following Jesus Christ, and realised that God had a plan for her life.

Kim later defected and now lives in Canada. Her biography, THE GIRL IN THE PICTURE, written by Denise Chong was published in 1999. 

*Click the link to source above to view the original photo.


"Forgiveness made me free from hatred," Kim told Saunders. "I still have many scars on my body and severe pain most days but my heart is cleansed. Napalm is very powerful, but faith, forgiveness, and love are much more powerful."

If that little girl in the picture cold find the power to overcome the scars left by napalm, then what prevents you from forgiving those who have harmed you?

"Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses" (Proverbs 10:12).

Trading Places

Healing Relationships Substitution

Source: The Reason for God (Riverhead Books, 2008), pp. 201–202

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2010-10-31

Scripture: Isaiah 53:5

Author: Timothy Keller



Tim Keller writes:

"In a real world of relationships, it is impossible to love people with a problem or a need without in some sense sharing or even changing places with them. All real life-changing love involves some form of this kind of exchange . . . Imagine you come into contact with a man who is innocent, but who is being hunted down by secret agents or by the government or by some other powerful group. He reaches out to you for help. If you don't help him, he will probably die, but if you ally with him, you—who were perfectly safe and secure—will be in mortal danger. This is the stuff that movie plots are made of. Again, it's him or you. He will experience increased safety and security through your involvement, but only because you are willing to enter into his insecurity and vulnerability."


Keller adds, 

“All life-changing love toward people with serious needs is a substitutional sacrifice. If you become personally involved with them, in some way, their weaknesses flow toward you as your strengths flow toward them ….How can God be a God of love if he does not become personally involved in suffering the same violence, oppression, grief, weakness, and pain that we experience? The answer to that question is twofold: First, God can't. Second, only one major religion even claims that God does.”

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).

Simon the Leper

Forgiveness Grace Mercy

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2020-01-13

Scripture: Matthew 26:6

Author: Thomas Bevers


"While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper." (NIV).

Jesus dined at Simon the leper, evidently, he was a healed leper. I'd like to think a leper healed by Jesus. But he had to have been healed of his leprosy or he could not have been hosting a "party." Yet he was still known as "Simon the leper." 

He was healed but once a leper always a leper

A leper's life was difficult not just because of the leprosy but maybe more so because leprosy was believed to be a curse from God. It was believed that a leper was a leper because of some heinous sin in their lives and they were under God’s judgment. But when Jesus heals He heals completely 


Are we guilty of the same thing?

Once a drug addict, once an alcoholic, once an unwed mother, once an illegitimate child, once a divorcee…

He’s Simon the leper.

Once a liar, once a thief, once an adulterer… God forgives but we never forget.

We must receive all those who Jesus receives.

With the exception of…, if you can answer that go back to God and ask Him which of your sins he is still holding against you. 

Debt Canceled

Forgiveness Grace Debt

Contributed By: Charles Schuyler | Date Posted: 2019-09-15

Scripture: Romans 6:23 ; Ephesians 2:8

Author: Charles Schuyler

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A Picture of Pure Love

Love for God God's Love New Birth

Contributed By: DEAN KAHLICH | Date Posted: 2019-05-19

Scripture: John 3:16 ; 1 John 4:19


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Drawn to the Well

Legalism Calling God's Love

Contributed By: Gabriel Carnes | Date Posted: 2019-03-29

Scripture: John 4:14 ; John 10:27

Author: Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch

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The Peril Of "Covering Up"

Sin Confession Spiritual Health

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2018-12-31

Scripture: Isaiah 29:15 ; Numbers 32:23

Author: Neal Pollard

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The Broken Xylophone

Sin Human Nature God's Love

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2018-12-29

Scripture: Romans 3:9 ; 1 John 4:10

Author: James Miller

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A Second Chance Isn't Always A Great Thing

Second Chances Justice Forgiveness

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2018-09-14

Scripture: Matthew 18:21 ; Jonah 2:1

Author: Thomas Bevers

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Are You Ready For Company?

Procrastination Second Coming Spiritual Health

Contributed By: Bren Glass | Date Posted: 2018-07-13

Scripture: Matthew 24:44 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:4

Author: Bren Glass

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