Staff Member on LOA
On January 16, 1995, Rachel Barton, of Winnetka, Illinois, commuted home on the train. Slung over her shoulder was her Amati violin, worth three hundred thousand dollars, on loan from a benefactor. Rachel is a violin prodigy who first appeared as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony at age eight.

The train stopped at the Elm Street station, and as Rachel exited, tragedy struck. Somehow she got caught in the door, according to Michael A. Lev in the Chicago Tribune, and the train started moving again: "Barton was dragged beneath the train for several hundred feet before a bystander heard her screams and notified a railroad official to stop the train. The huge wheels severed her left leg below the knee and seriously damaged the right leg."

Rescue workers and two passengers who used their belts as tourniquets saved Barton's life.

Two months and eight surgeries later, Rachel Barton held a press conference. Sitting in a wheel chair, beaming a beautiful smile, and wearing a glowing red dress, she talked of her plans to walk again, and to perform with the violin in the fall. She was already practicing on her violin several hours a day.

"In the years to come," she said, "I hope to be known for my music, not my injuries."

When we face traumatic pain and loss, we have a choice. We can focus on our past or our future, on our injuries or our gifts. Overcomers dream of the "music" they have yet to play.

Hope, Loss, Overcomers, Pain, Trauma
Phil. 1:20-22; 1 Peter 4:10-11