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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Holiday (04/05/12)

TITLE: Someone Died
By Hiram Claudio


The morning began as usual.

The only thing that was different was that it was Good Friday. My new job didn’t close on this holiday so off to work I went. I boarded my train, took my seat, and began my normal commute.

We'd just left the first station and were moving nicely when, all of a sudden, the train stopped. Sometimes it did to wait for a signal or something train related. But this time, it stayed stopped. After a minute or so, the conductor made an announcement over the speaker. She simply told us that we are experiencing a delay and would provide an update shortly.

I looked out the window, enjoying the bright morning sunshine, and waited for her update. A minute later it came.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we are delayed due to a pedestrian accident. There is police activity on the scene. We will report more shortly.”

The phrase that caught my attention was “police activity.” My commuting experience has taught me that ‘police activity’ didn’t just mean someone was hit. Someone was killed. My instincts were validated a few minutes later when she provided another update. She again apologized for the delay and mentioned that the police were conducting an investigation due to a “fatal pedestrian accident.”

I may never know who that person was or what they were doing near the tracks. My mind began to process the facts. How old were they? Were they male or female? What was their family like? They know nothing. I also wondered what they’d feel when they got the call. Moved by these events I did what seemed fitting to me and prayed for a family I may never meet.

Then, my fellow morning commuters did what seemed fitting to them.

“This is going to ruin my whole day!”

“Don't they realize I have things to do?”

“I hate this railroad! They're never on-time. This is the third problem with the trains this week.”

I was amazed by the concert of callousness performed for me, unprepared for an impromptu symphony of the self-absorbed. I wanted to shout, “excuse me but SOMEONE DIED!” I didn’t. Perhaps I shouldn't have been so stunned. I know we all lead busy lives. We fill our schedules with appointments that lean on each other like a house of cards, convinced that if one fell, disaster would follow.

Bottom line is … it won’t. While it’s good to be productive, few of us schedule events that, if they failed to occur or were delayed, would quicken Armageddon. I was surrounded by a complete inability to gain perspective. Everyone was on their cell phones, updating various people. Yet the anger many displayed, edging near fury, just seemed so shallow. Again, I was overtaken by the truth that ‘someone died’ and no one seemed to care.

This brought me back to Good Friday. We know the scenes well. I’m sure the religious leaders of Jesus’ day wanted Him to die, as did the crowd and the Roman soldiers. But I wondered how many passing by that day were simply annoyed. How many saw the events as an interruption in their plans, a hiccup in their scheduled day?

On Good Friday we commemorate the fact that … Someone died. And yet not just anyone but the Son of God. And in His case, it wasn’t simply a ‘fatal pedestrian accident.’ It was His reason for being on Earth. But how many notice … or care? As we go about our planned events, many aimed at remembering the greatest expression of love, are we truly focused on the price He paid for our sin? Or, are we more concerned with whether our plans to commemorate it go off without a hitch?

Just as I prayed for this person’s family that morning, Jesus prayed that day also. ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do’ (Luke 23:34a – NKJV). I admit, I too was more focused on my schedule and plans than on what the day was truly about. Yet, I couldn't escape how sobering this morning scene was and how, especially on that day, it connected me to Calvary.

Someone died! Lord, help me to never casually view the immense price you paid. Help me also not to become so self-centered that I minimize the ability of your sacrifice to add perspective to all I experience. Help me, every day and with all I seek, to always look to the cross!

(true story)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joe Moreland04/12/12
What a great article on perspective! This was well written yet simple and clear and it connects. Everyone has seen something like this. Some of us are guilty of doing something like this. Very humbling and an excellent job of tying it all back to Jesus and the resurrection. Great job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/12/12
This is a beautiful devotion. I love how you started with a true story and then showed how life mirrors scripture. You did a great job transitioning from the train to the Bible. I, too, stop and pray for people when I'm in the hospital and hear a code called or driving and hear a police or ambulance siren. It's true that often you may be praying for people you will never meet, but God knows them intimately. The last paragraph was a beautiful prayer. Even though it wasn't phrased as a prayer, it still will reach God's ears each time someone reads those words and really relates to them. What a blessing you have given me this morning.
C D Swanson 04/12/12
Beautifully written!

Wonderful job of detailing the cavalier attitudes of "humans" going through the motions of everyday life. This was a harsh, yet honest rendition that can pertain to many individuals as they take offense to "something interfering in their daily routines."

Brilliant job of tying the events together with Jesus Christ...Pure genius. I love it.

God bless~
Genia Gilbert04/12/12
Quite a holiday happening! Show the vast difference in the Christian's perspective and the frequent attitudes of a world that gives Him little thought. Yet, it was for these disinterested folks too that "Someone Died" on that first good Friday. What love!
Leola Ogle 04/12/12
It's so sad that people become jaded, cynical and insensitive. We've all been guilty, I'm sure. This was a good reminder of what is important. Well written. God bless!
Laura Hawbaker04/13/12
Good story reminding us of the uncertaintity of life. Like how you connected this experience to the death of Jesus and the price He paid for our salvation.
The third paragraph could use a bit of tightening. For example, "suddenly" instead of "all of a sudden".
Graham Insley04/17/12
I felt you built this story very well indeed; just like bits of bait to keep the reader reading.

And of course, it is a true story on two fronts; the experience on the train and the attitude towards the events of the Cross.

Well done.
Geoffrey johnstone04/18/12
Well written story. I can see this being used in a communion service.

You tied the two events together with ease.

Dannie Hawley 04/18/12
I pray for the families of victims in situations like this, too. It just seems natural to do that since they are really going to need God's help. Our society has become so task-oriented that the human facttor is often forgotten. I liked the way you joined the present tragedy to the tragedy that so many people don't care that Jesus died. He gave everything for them and only a few will ever care that He did. You did a fantastic job on this article.
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/18/12
You had an excellent lead-in for a really outstanding devotional.
C D Swanson 04/19/12
Congratulations & God Bless~
Amanda Brogan04/19/12
This is marvelous! Very thought-provoking. I love how you showed the contrast of what comes naturally to believers (i.e. praying) versus what comes naturally to the jaded and unsaved (i.e. complaining).

Congratulations on your win!
Bea Edwards 04/19/12
Your article touched my heart deeply. Thank you for a look into your world that became such an appropriate vision into the eternal. Yes we forget....Father forgive me for my busyness and forgetfulness of Your sacrifice, grace, mercy and lovingkindness- that endure forever- no matter what I do!
annie keys04/19/12
Congratulations, well done!
Joy Bach 04/25/12
This is so thought-provoking. Great job.
Clyde Blakely04/26/12
Wow! Thank you for sharing and helping us be aware of how He tries to relate with us everyday in so many ways. God bless.
Sandra Hartman 05/01/12
Great story--well written-so glad you shared--