What seemed like hours of honking cars, some even yelling, "jump already!", a long line of impatient commuters crawled past a man that many of them would identify as the faceless stranger that made them late that morning.
The railway tracks two hundred feet below the bridge deck blurred in and out of focus through the wet film forming over his eyes and the high wind speeds rattled his grey hoody as the bridge itself softly shook, it's gentle rhythm of movement hovering above the beat of cars driving over the separation in the bridge's pavement.
The ultimate contemplation of a young man in his twenties, who had always been so cautious about inconveniencing others was doing something different this day.
The view below was beginning to look familiar, as though time, in its unraveling, was revealing what always had been the final stretch, the inevitable conclusion to this life all along. His focus switched from his vantage point to the tape he had been playing over in his mind, with everything that was said and all the feelings of rage and disappointment that came with it. Again he looked at his destiny below. These weights around his frustrated soul would surely speed his fall towards it.
"I see you are about to make a very strong decision" I said as I approached from his right.
He had seen me coming toward him for the last few minutes, but mostly he just kept his head cocked down like he was doing now.
"Does anyone know your story?" I asked now standing beside him facing the same direction like I might be joining him.
"No. Not really", he said glancing over.
For the first time I saw his eyes and in them was a universe of untold thoughts.
Knowing that his life could be removed from them at any moment got me wondering what might be inside that universe, and in this moment it seemed to be the only universe that mattered.
"Before you make your final move, I think that someone should know your story, so we can understand what chain of events led to you coming here"
"I'm not sure what to say... " he said, pausing. He seemed like he wanted to talk and he began shifting his weight side to side.
I, uh... I guess, I don't think you would really understand.
I mean it's kind of a long story, and I don't think anyone really wants to hear it anyway."
"In your mind, there is a whole cosmos." The man listened quietly. "From where I'm standing the stars are shimmering like a cluster of living diamonds, but between them is such vast darkness and I sense that is the part you are seeing right now. Take me through that part."
For a moment this idea seemed to intrigue him.
"The bottom line is that I'm here, not because there is too much darkness between the stars in my own head, but because this planet has no place for someone like me."
"have you felt that way before today?
"Yeah. Quite a few times actually." His head nodded like he was counting all the times he had come to that conclusion.
"Can you remember the first thing that made you feel that way?
"No. Not really. After a while I just realized that no one gave a shit about me", he said sniffing.
"Anyone in particular?" I asked, watching his breath from behind the side of his hood meet with the violent cold air.
Folding his arms, he began to list a few. His father, his wife, certain friends. People he had worked with that had made him feel small.
"Are they the reason you are out here on this bridge?"
He thought for minute then answered, " no, but some of them, had they cared enough, might have kept me from coming here today.
To my relief. He began stepping away from the ledge.
"So what is it that brought you here today?" I asked.
"I got out bid at an auction for a piece of radio equipment that I needed.
Normally it wouldn't have been a big deal, but it was kind of the last straw.
A few years ago I met a man who asked if I wanted to receive the Double portion anointing. Not fully knowing what that meant, I said yes. It was explained that in the last days this anointing would be very important for the call that I had on my life. That in the end times I would help a lot of people. I guess I didn't really understand what I was signing up for. A year ago I tried to back out and a series of improbable hardships including a disaster in my marriage has made it so I don't even want to keep witnessing to the guys at work. It's like all these things are against me."
On top of that, through a series of signs, God revealed that I would need to kill my uncle because he and my father would be responsible for the slaughter of my mother.
My mother will be the one to give me the final annointing to overthrow the Antichrist and his followers. In order to do this I need the help of a handful of followers and a van that I've been trying to modify, but can't seem to finish because my equipment keeps getting stolen, and the deductible on the windows of the van ate up my savings, and last week the van itself got stolen and torched. I got nothing left and no one wants to cooperate. I have tried to explain this to some extent to the guys at work and a few close friends. One of them said to 'let go, and let God.' I'm beginning to see that only through his power would any of this work, but I'm done. When I jump, it will be up to God. If he wants to use me, he can catch me.
I asked a pastor once if God would catch me if I fell. He said He would.
Now I'm about to find out. If he doesn't catch me then it will confirm another thought that I've been having, that he has been planning to use someone else because I tried backing out last year."
I was beginning to see that my own Christ complex might not help this guy.
"What kind of van do you need?" I asked, thinking about the one that I was just about to get rid of now that the kids were grown up, and the transmission was making strange noises.
"The uncle that I'm supposed to put to death, has a van that he uses to install people's Internet and cable hook ups. It would be ideal, but I also know that my family would frown upon me driving it around especially after killing him. They would think that I killed him for the van.
-I just have to trust God."
"I have a van and a garage full of components you are welcome to" I offered. "We can even look at it today if you want"
"What kind of van is it? Is it a work van or is it a minivan?" He asked skeptically.
"It's a minivan." I said reluctantly.
"Hmm. I think I'll just stick to my original plan. If God does not catch me, then it is you that I will pass on my double annointing to, and you will have to carry on with the mission"
He stepped over to the edge and leaned into the wind. He could almost feel the hand of God carrying him, but after two and a half seconds of falling, his body hit the tracks.
Many feet below, I could still see his grey hoody moving around in the wind.
After processing our conversation for a few minutes and the shock of witnessing this guy fall, I turned around to see that the cars behind me, one of which was a police car, had stopped.
A kind looking police man got out of his cruiser and slowly made his way over. "Can we just chat for a bit, sir?" He asked.
"What ever it is that is happening in your life right now, we can help you. Just give me a chance to listen. Can you do that sir?"
As I realized that by me being the only one standing there, I looked like the jumper, someone from a car in the passing lane beside him hollered. "Just jump, you're holding up traffic!"