Metro Collision in Washington DC: A Message Of Hope In The Midst of Tragedy   1 comment

According to a CNN news report, two Red Line subway trains collide near the Takoma Park station at approximately 5 P.M. on Monday, June 22, 2009. The trains appear to have collided at a high rate of speed, as one train climbed on top of the another. So far, there are nine confirmed deaths and at least 70 others have been injuries.

Thankfully, however, there are hundreds who have been spared anything more than some soreness and shock. I was fortunately spared from it because I went to class a bit later than I wanted. Rather than heading straight to class from the local coffee shop, I went home to get a little dinner snack. But… I could’ve been there. And I don’t say that necessarily out of fear of a what-if, but as a recognition of God sovereignly working in me and in others–in this situation.

Now, I understand that there are some of you who quickly respond to my mention of God with the question “How could a loving God…?” These are questions we ask when we are faced with the realities of our mortalities in a sudden and tragic way. How could a loving God allow terrorists to hijack planes to kill themselves along with thousands of others? How could God allow mass killings at the hands of a dictator in North Korea or the genocide of innocent peoples in Sudan and in Rwanda and in the DRC? How could God cause the waves to rush and roar, taking away numerous lives in Indonesia and Louisiana? How could God allow the trains to collide and keep two people from dying? God is love? Tell me–how can such a God be loving?

Jesus Christ has a sobering message for those of us considering life and death: “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:2-5).

Asking why they died is the wrong question because–well, we will all die one way or another. But death does not have to lead to perishing–death can lead to life. Jesus also said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my skae will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?” (Matthew 16:24-26). The question is not why? but how? How can I overcome anxiety and fear over such a similar fate? And Jesus gives the answer–only by believing in Him and following Him will you be able to have life, even after your body is dead. God does not necessarily kill because one is especially bad or let someone live because one is especially good. We are all bad, according to God’s standards, because we are imperfect and have committed sin against others and against God. The question isn’t why God allows some to die early, but why the rest of us are allowed to continue living? God allows tragedies to occur in our lives because it gets us to seriously consider life and death. It’s not something to be considered lightly until we are elderly; we must consider it NOW–death could be just around the corner.

What I’m writing will probably cause some of you to dismiss me because I’m being a downer. It will cause some of you to be upset at me because I’m directly challenging the way some of you live. It will cause some of you to fear–what can I do when the fate of my life is utterly out of my control? God does not say… watch out because this can happen to you, too–and just leave it at that. Sooner or later, we will all die. The ultimate statistic in the world is that 100% of all living people will die. Yes, God allows that to happen because we are all deserving of punishment for our sins, but God just gave us all a kind warning today. Death is real and we are not in control of it. However, our future can be secured in Jesus Christ. He says, “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked… Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:17,20). Yes, death is scary and death is uncertain. But God understands that and He is calling for you to experience eternal life and everlasting joy with Him. We must understand the wretchedness of our sinful state and turn to Jesus. He is standing in front of our hearts and knocking–open the door by confessing that you are a sinner and let Him in by acknowledging that only through Him can you have a right standing with God. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

I hope that it does not look to some that I am taking this situation to be mean and condemning–that is not my intention at all. In fact, that is not what God calls Christians to do. The Bible says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep onself unstained from the world” (James 1:27). Pure religion is to comfort those who are afflicted and suffering. And that’s my intention in writing this–I want to bring comfort and certainty in times when many might not have either. Comfort is not found in minimizing death, but in facing it head on. We are all going to die. But the comfort comes in Jesus Christ, who offers eternal life to anyone who would turn to Jesus in love and submit to His will in our lives. The best way to honor the lives of those who have died, especially those who have lost their lives tragically and dramatically, is to face the realities of death in our own lives. Don’t take lightly something that was so real to others who lost it. Use the opportunity you have been given–the gift of another breath and another minute–to consider seriously life and death. “And this is eternal life, that they know you the one tru God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).


Posted June 22, 2009 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

One response to “Metro Collision in Washington DC: A Message Of Hope In The Midst of Tragedy

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  1. Thanks Mitchell for those gospel-saturated thoughts. Glad to hear you’re ok. It must be personally sobering indeed. I’m reminded of James 4:13-15 too.

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