Get Off The Tracks!

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Job 3:20,21 – Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure. (NIV)

Job 6:8 – Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for! (KJV)

Jonah 4:3 – Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. (KJV)

Psalm 116:6 – The lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low and he helped me. (KJV)

A sunny Saturday morning in March was the first time in eleven years of walking with my dog that I'd forgotten to bring a bag or two to pick up after her.

Rather than go back home, I reversed my regular route to enable me to get some bags from a special city dog bag post by a little church nearby. My husband was with us, and about thirty minutes into our walk, we crossed the highway to a pathway paralleling the train tracks.

We heard the train whistle behind us, signalling its approach. About the same time, we saw someone ahead of us walking along the tracks towards the oncoming train. We hollered twice to get off the tracks, and then, in response to my frantic call, "A train's coming, get off the tracks!" the person replied, "I know."

I handed the dog's leash to my husband, and, with arms flagging the train, ran up the little berm supporting the railroad bed, to attempt to pull the person off the tracks. By the grace of God, and from having slowed for the crossing, the engineer was able to stop mere inches in front of us. It is a terrible, terrible tragedy that anyone can feel such anguish and despair that they believe it would be better for them to die than to live.

As the engineer and I assisted the person, people watched from cars, and several stood along their fence, like spectators at some sport.

No one offered a blanket, a place for the person to sit and collect themselves, or even so much as a kind word or a glass of water. Had we taken our regular route, we would have been long past the portion of the pathway where this had taken place.

Sometimes God causes the seemingly smallest of things to happen, to enable us to be there when someone is "travelling along the wrong track".

Prayer: Our heavenly Father, may we be ever open to accept those times and situations which cause us to change our direction, and to realize that You have done it for a purpose. May we be compassionate in times of trouble and listen as You guide us to help gently those who may be "travelling along the wrong track". May You be with any who may at this time be feeling such anguish and despair, and place people in their path, that they may know that their lives are worth living. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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Mary Daniel <>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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