Our hearts were happy driving home from a family outing. Red brake lights flared and the traffic started to slow. It’s a pretty common occurrence in this city of over 7.4 million motorcycles. Slowly moving forward the reason for the brake lights became apparent. A lone policemen was standing in one lane waving people over creating a bottleneck. Inching closer, the scene unfolded. The dispassionate policemen stood facing the traffic with two grime smudged orange traffic cones just beyond him. The cones shrouded the lifeless body of a young woman laying on the roadway. The traffic seemed unmercifully slow at this point because I couldn’t take my eyes off her until she was out of my field of vision.
She was dead. Laying on her back, arms at her side, eyes open and not a single person with her. She was dead and though I didn’t know her my heart was filled with remorse. She appeared to be about 25 years old, dressed in working clothes she could have been a factory worker or common laborer. She was dead. Her motorcycle was sitting just ahead of her but it didn’t seem significantly damaged so it was hard to ascertain how she was killed. Maybe she ran into the barricade separating the lanes and fell off. There was no one else around beyond the policeman directing traffic but maybe there had been an accident and others had been taken to the hospital already.
She was dead. And more questions flooded my mind. Did she know Jesus? At best a 2% chance that she did. Not good odds. Had she ever heard about Jesus? Again the odds are slim. She was dead. Somehow her body looked peaceful as it lay on the pavement, motorcycles streaming by just a couple feet away. But the harsh reality is in all likelihood she was not peaceful. Unless she was among that 2% minority her soul had just entered into an eternity separated from the presence of God. She was dead and my heart wasn’t happy anymore.
Viet Nam News reported today that in the first nine months of this year in Ho Chi Minh City a total of 586 people died in traffic accidents. That’s over 2 persons per day and on track to see 780 road deaths in the city by the end of the year. In the paper’s article, “Digital map planned to ease City traffic“, the local government hopes to encourage the development of more technology, a digital road map with real-time updates on traffic, in order to reduce problems and presumable accidents. I hope they are successful. I like the idea of improving the traffic situation by simply letting people know the best road to take.
We’ve got a road map too. It’s in print form and thankfully it’s also easily available digitally. I don’t know if a digital traffic map would have helped that young woman choose a better route and prevented her deadly accident or not. I do know that our road map, the saving Word of God, would have saved her life and by His grace given her a relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ. If the Ho Chi Minh City government succeeds in developing their digital tools they will still have to get the map distributed, they will have to get the people to use it. We must do the same. We must get our map, the Word of God, the Good News of Jesus Christ in the people’s hands, on their screens, in their minds and in their hearts. We have to warn them of the bad roads, the broad road. We have to show them the road to life, the narrow road. The reality is that I see dead people every day. They are walking around, or sitting in coffee shops, at school, or at work, or driving their motorcycles and not laid out on the pavement. But they are no less dead. I see dead people every day. Do you?
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 14:12