By Seth Miller
The following is based on a true story.
There once was a man, John Griffith was his name;
John didn’t have wealth, fortunes, or fame.
But he did have his one and only son, who gave him all of his joy;
His name was Gregory, and he was only an 8-year old boy.
John loved his little boy dearly, much more than himself.
You see, John’s wife left him all alone with their son, when she succumbed to her poor health.
The year was 1937, and life was fair;
John was just thankful to have his son and the smile that his son would always wear.
Little Gregory’s smile was captivating, his laughter filled with pure glee;
His father only had to look upon his smiling face, and he would become as happy as could be.
He was a curious child, always asking his father many questions;
Including what had happened to his mother, John’s wife, Lynn.
John always just looked down at his son with a smile,
And told his son that she has been watching over them in Heaven for a while.
John loved his son so much, so innocent and pure;
He would grow up to be a kind and gentle man, of that John was sure.
John was a bridge operator, which was his occupation.
He would go from town to the river, and stay at work until the job was done.
It was John’s job to make the bridge lift up, whenever a boat would approach the bridge overlooking the river;
John allowed the boat to safely bass below, and he did all of that with the pull of a lever.
It wasn’t a glamorous job, but it paid the bills.
It allowed them to eat food, and helped pay for his son’s medicinal pills.
John would walk to work everyday with his son, holding tight onto his hand;
They would take the scenic route to work through the woods, trekking across the land.
Gregory loved to come to work with his father and watch the trains go by;
He was fascinated by these trains, and on his belly he would lie.
John and Gregory passed the time with fun, as trains didn’t come by often;
The two of them always played card games, although John always let his son win.
One particular day, John left his son outside and told him to go play,
While John stayed at the operating tower, which is where he would stay.
The bridge was currently up, as a boat had just passed through,
Little did John know that the train was off-schedule, and was coming too soon.
John didn’t hear the train coming, as he sat in the tower sipping his drink.
But his son was outside, and as soon as he saw the steam from the train, he knew what it was in a wink.
You see, the bridge was still up, and this caused a great problem;
The train was coming with 400 people on board, and if the bridge was not lowered, all of their lives would be done.
The train was filled with all sorts of people, good and bad;
There were families and soldiers; people who were happy and people who were sad.
There were those on their way home, and those visiting relatives;
And those that were drug addicts, shooting drugs into their skin.
Those that were mothers heading home to see their sons,
And those that were drunkards, sipping away at their gin.
The train was filled with young children too,
Who cared about nothing and dreaded going back to school.
John was oblivious to what was going on outside, so his son took the task upon himself,
To try and save the people on the train, by pulling the manual bridge lever himself.
Just then John looked out the window, and saw what was transpiring,
And he saw his son reach for the lever, but he saw his son slip!
Down into the gears of the bridge his son fell;
As he heard the approaching train ding their bell.
The father was now faced with a very tough choice:
He could try and save his son, thus allowing the 400 people on the train to die;
Or he could pull the lever, crushing his son to death in the gears, hearing him cry.
But if he pulled the lever, the bridge would go down, saving the 400 people;
But to sacrifice his only son! Could he really go through with it!?
John was faced with this horrible decision with only seconds to decide;
He was panicking, and his fears would not subside.
He could save the 400 people, but his only beloved son would die!
“Oh Lord!” John cried out, “Please let there be another way!” he screamed.
He wished he would just wake up and find that this was all a bad dream.
But there was no other option, and he had to decide;
So decide he did, no matter what he did, he knew he would cry.
John pulled the lever.
The gears below began turning, lowering the bridge.
With merely seconds to spare, as the train shot by.
John ran as fast as he could to the spot where his son had fell;
But he knew it was too late, his son was dead, he could tell.
He screamed! He cried! He shouted out in agony!
“Why Lord!? WHY!? Why have you forsaken me!?’
The people on the train stared in confusion at this crazed man outside,
Who had tears streaming down his face as they kept on going by.
A woman and her baby stared at him out their window;
John stared right back looking on in sorrow.
They were completely oblivious to the sacrifice he had just made.
He gave his one and only son, so that each of them could live another day.
John shouted at them, “What’s wrong with you people! Why don’t you care!?”
“I sacrificed my only son for you! Why are you so UNAWARE!?”
John fell onto his knees, sobs of sorrow coming from his deep within.
He couldn’t contain himself, this grief was so grim!
So many people, unaware at what he had just done;
Giving up the only thing he cared about, his one and only son.
His son had died.
A month passed, and what a sorrowful month it was;
His grief was so great, and it hurt that no one else knew.
It hurt that no one was there to comfort him,
And that no one was there to care even a whim.
But as he was walking back to town from work one day, as it started to rain;
John saw that woman and her baby boy, the ones who stared at him on the train.
John could see the love emanating from the boy’s mother,
The baby boy smiled at John, and John smiled back.
As they walked away, John smiled to himself.
His son died so that the husbands on that train could see their wives,
And so the young children on that train could live out their lives
His son died for that little boy and his mother,
So that they could live out their lives and affect the lives of others.
The sacrifice of one, of his only son,
brought hope for the future, for each and every one.
Like I said in the beginning, this poem I’ve created is based on a true story. The story of John and Gregory is true. Gregory fell into the gears, and John had to make the decision to either save his son or the 400 others. It is a sad, sad story, but an inspirational one. The story was made into a short film entitled “Most.” It was nominated for an Oscar and won many other film awards. You can view a trailer here:
Did this story move you at all? Did you find it saddening? This true story is also true in another sense. It is true in the sense that this is what God did for all of us. God sacrificed his one and only son, and watched him die, so that we could have eternal life. Imagine the pain and sorrow that God went through, and still goes through, as He knows there are those that do not know of His great sacrifice, and that do not care.
If you want to see the entire 30-minute movie, let me know, and I will upload it to my Facebook in parts.
Thank you for reading and God bless!
–Seth David Miller
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” –John 3:16