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We Did These Humans Come From?

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 After what happened to Tom Kennon, I have to know where we came from. I’ve got to know where human life began.

I can choose between two answers to this question. Answer number one: Humans were created by God. Answer number two: We evolved through lucky circumstances four billion years ago.

Answer number two gets the most press. That’s the answer I get from PBS television, from the magazines I read, and the newspapers. But after the newspaper coverage about Tom Kennon, I want to believe the other answer.

I’ve got the clipping beside me. The headline at the top reads: “Vile Odor Leads Hunter to Dead Body.” Tragic end I imagine Tom riding his Honda in bright California sunshine. I see him leaning into the curves on a lonely piece of road hidden between two mountain ridges. But I really wasn’t there, so I didn’t see him lose control of the cycle. I didn’t see him shoot off the road into dense brush, shrubs, and boulders. No one did. That’s why he died alone in the hot sunshine, about 10 feet from a steaming motorcycle wreck. Nobody missed Tom. Three weeks went by before a local hunter worked up enough courage to investigate an offensive smell. Then the police contacted his ex-wife. Tom’s landlord heard the news and put up his apartment for rent. Nobody had missed him! That’s what scares me. That’s what makes me look for a Creator. Because if no one is out there, it means that our lives on earth go unnoticed. Someday—just like Tom, just like dinosaurs—the last humans will die, and no one will miss us. In that case, who cares if we die now or later? If terrorists want to blow a plane out of the sky, what’s the big deal? Why protest war? Why shouldn’t I kill you for the few bills in your wallet? In fact, why not fire a bullet into your body just to taste the power to end life? It doesn’t matter . . . unless we were custom-made by the greatest mind in the universe. Ah, that cheers me up. Then my life and your life count for something. Fast cars It’s who makes us that makes us valuable. When Lamborghini makes a Huracán, people pay $200,000 to park it in their garage. Then they treat it as gently as a soap bubble. So why shouldn’t I take care of myself? If I’m made by God, I’m valuable. I don’t need to bully and brag and bad-talk other people in order to prop up my self-worth. I only need to recall who made me. Other people are valuable as well. They deserve respect. If I wouldn’t dream of hitting the thin aluminum skin of a Huracán, how could I hit another human being? Created beings have a certain dignity that we can never claim if we evolved from bacteria. We always consider ourselves noblemen and noblewomen, even if we have to pick through garbage cans for supper. Even if we get turned down for that Saturday night date. And when we see a person who’s made a wreck of their life, we have every reason to restore them, just as we would if we found a dented and dirty Lamborghini. That person deserves to be healed by a gentle touch and encouraging words. Original question So, where did we come from? I choose to believe the first answer, that we are created by God. I hope Tom Kennon believed the same thing. Because I’d like to believe that one day Tom Kennon’s Creator will call him back to life and tell him how much he was missed. This article originally appeared in the March 11, 1989, issue of Insight. At that time Kim Peckham was an advertising copywriter at the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown, Maryland. He went on to serve as director of Corporate Communications at the Review and Herald until 2015. He also authored the book Stop Laughing: I’m Trying to Make a Point (available on Amazon for clearance prices, he points out). He is now a freelance writer, videographer, and Web developer in Sharpsburg, Maryland.

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