Fear

The story of the man who was pushed in front of a NYC subway train this week really got to me.

Two parts of the story very much disturbed me– the first of which was that a photographer took a picture of the man who was struggling to save himself.

I’m dumbfounded on this one. He took a picture. Rather than helping the man to safety, he took a picture. The photographer has received criticism for his actions, and his employer for printing the photo. The photographer insists that he was trying to use his flash to alert the train’s driver. But then why was the photo given to his employer to print?

Beyond this problematic defense is the real issue– no one stepped forward to help this man. There were other people on the platform and no one moved forward. We know that at least one of them was NOT paralyzed by fear, but he chose to grab his camera. Is raises the question– what kind of people are we that this is our response?

The second part that truly disturbed me was that the attacker was a stranger to the victim– a bipolar man off his meds and under the influence of marijuana. Regardless of what the victim did to provoke the man, this emotionally disturbed individual violently killed a complete stranger. That strikes at something in my very core– at a fear that something terrible will suddenly befall me.

It frightens me that I could be suddenly assaulted by an emotionally disturbed person. It frightens me even more that no one could offer to help me. I thought about this a lot after I heard the story, but eventually, God reminded me that he is in control.

I am not to be ruled by fear. I am to trust in him alone. If I believe what Scripture says– that he is good and loving and faithful– then living in fear means that I am denying God. Even when I am faithless, God remains faithful.

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