The story of mankind was told in 22 seconds in a New York subway these past few days.
It took 22 seconds for mankind to unravel the worst of its fallen nature. It was 22 seconds of anger… 22 seconds of fear… 22 seconds of ignorance… 22 seconds of self promotion… and ultimately 22 seconds of paralysis and human depravity.
Following a verbal altercation, a young man pushed a thin, much older man off the subway platform and onto the tracks as a train was approaching. It took 22 seconds from the shove until the train struck the victim to his death. What happened in those 22 seconds stands as a testimony for all of us about who we are as humans, and how deep our moral inability and corruption affects us.
Eyewitness accounts, video evidence and a variety of news articles paint a shocking picture.
The train was quickly approaching.
The short, thin victim had gotten up and was desperately attempting to climb back up on the platform, but he could not… perhaps due to injury, desperation or physical weakness.
The multitude of bystanders were just… standing by… gripped by fear, suspense, maybe ignorance… but ultimately paralysis.
The freelance photographer from the New York Post quickly grabbed his camera, and as the train was approaching he started shooting photos of the scene.
He later gave the pictures to the NY Post who published a shot of the death scene. He excused himself saying that he was trying to distract the train with the camera flash.
As for the perpetrator… “he never once offered any aid as the train approached the station. In fact, [he] watched the train hit the victim. And according to witnesses, he then calmly put his coat back on, picked up his cup of coffee and left the station, seemingly indifferent to the welfare or fate of the victim,” reports NBC news in an article. The murderous spirit of Cain is alive and well today, as this man shows no remorse for the result of his actions. He was careful to not forget his coffee while his victim was pinned between the train and the platform.
Could there be a worse example of human depravity in a civilized modern society? 22 seconds went by and no one attempted to help pull up this man… a simple reach by two people would have lifted this 140 (or so) pound man back to safety in a matter of a few seconds. Not even an attempt… The photographer was more concerned with recording the action knowing there will be monetary gain down the line instead of helping his fellow-man… the ultimate act of selfishness.
Given what the Bible teaches, we understand why this is. Man’s inability to do good, and the evil in his heart are echoed by God lamenting over His fallen creation in Genesis 6:5 “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Despite this great evil that paralyzes even our so-called good intentions, the cross of Jesus has a place for all of us who chose to believe in Him for salvation from our depraved state. My prayer is that the perpetrator and the bystanders will find Jesus, and forgiveness at the foot of His cross…