Last Thursday started out like any other day. I woke up at 4:30 to spend some devotional time. Then I dressed, packed my gym bag and my lunch bag and headed out the door. After settling comfortably beside a window on the train, I proceeded to engage in my normal dance of reading and napping during my commute. And just as the conductor released the brakes so we could head to the next station, the train slammed to a jarring stop.
We sat for a few moments. Then, all of the power to the train was turned off and darkness filled the inside of the rail car. People grew agitated. Some pushed the intercom button in search of information. Others attempted to pry the train doors open. A woman behind me cautioned everyone to remain calm as she prayed for peace. From my seat near the window, I could hear screaming on the platform and I saw running on the top level. A few minutes later, a station employee manually released one door of each car until the train was fully off-loaded. There were no announcements and everyone went about their day.
I finally made it to work and turned on my computer. I was curious to know what caused the delay on the train. So, I logged on to the rail line website. That’s when I learned that while I flipped the pages in my novel with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, somebody’s baby jumped on the tracks in front of my train.
Somebody’s baby threw in the towel and threw down her life.
Somebody’s baby threw up her hands and decided that the night lasted a little too long.
Somebody’s fourteen year old “Cupcake”
surrendered to the draw of darkness
fell victim to the myth that she was the only or the first
believed the lie that over or after are better than this.
Somebody’s baby jumped in front of my train.
Somebody’s baby thrust her life in front of me
arresting me in my tracks
demanding that I stop
beckoning my awareness
beseeching me to hear her scream and the screams of those who watched her plummet
Somebody’s baby was rescued by cojourners and passersby
caught in the throws of escape
wrestled to the place of healing and restoration
Nobody’s baby died
not on Thursday
not in front of my train
not on my watch
Was that your baby?