Jumper

I went to the Art Institute of Chicago this past Wednesday. What an incredible museum. I started off in European art and was sitting in front of Monet’s haystacks when the two female security guards looked up at each other and loudly exclaimed, “No WAY!”

At first thought these two women, who were clearly friends were sharing an intimate piece of gossip. As I walked toward the Modern wing, guards were ushering out elementary aged children, families, students from the wing. I asked a lady guarding the entrance what had happened and she said evenly, and in a low voice, “There was a jumper.” She had to repeat herself several times for me to understand what had happened.

I wasn’t sure why, but this hit me me very hard, right in the chest. I had been admiring the brushstrokes from a poor painter who lived 150 years ago while this man contemplated his life and his worth. The worst part is that while he had surely wanted to end his life, he was not able to. The two story fall was only enough to put him in critical care. So what happens now?

I only hope that truth and peace is spoken over his broken body and that he finds the One who cares for him more deeply than he could imagine. I hope that the lies he believes about his value dissipate like fog lifting. I hope he finds friendship in this life, because that is what most of us truly long for in this big city.

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