Tuesday, July 6, 2010


For Goodness Sakes Get Off The Train!

Small wrinkles shine loudly; determining seconds on the clocks of time run deep. There are moments in our lives which shed light on who we are, as a person, as a society, and as a collective.
Today I witnessed a defining piece of history I wish I had not. For me, for the people around me, my city, and culture at whole.
And I found out truths about all of us that sunk my heart.
I didn't get off the train.

The light rail paused at the station, just like any other day. And just like any other day in the city of Phoenix, a young homeless man lie sleeping on the ground.
Except, wait a minute, is he sleeping?
He was lying straight on his back perpendicular to the train, as if he were just about to get in when he fell into his slumber.
Something's not right about that. I looked over at the bench beside him, where he should be sleeping. That's where someone would rest.
But only a woman rest there. Casually watching the scene as if it were on a TV in her living room.
I glanced back around standing up. No one else on the train seemed to care, or want to check on him. Perhaps I was wrong.
No, look at his hands. They are tight and fixed. He's dead. Or is he breathing. I don't know. What should I do?
The train isn't moving so perhaps the conductor is getting out to help.
I look back, as a passerby decides to try to shake him.
No response.
Just like me.

The train moves on and I sit back down as a friend calls 911. I look around wondering if no one else noticed such a horrible sight. They must have missed it somehow.
But a wrong address gets a yawned correction from one of the fellow passengers, and a few others nod in agreement.
They all noticed.
We all noticed.

A fellow brother lay fallen, and most people just looked on, or turned away...and none of us got off the train.
Would you?
I always thought I would.

The train starts to move.

Matthew 25:35-40 - "'For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?' And the King will answer them, 'I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.'"