By David Bragg
Hopes that the President would recover were dwindling. Two months had passed since President Garfield was shot twice in the back. Perhaps if they could get him to his ocean retreat in Long Branch, New Jersey, he could find comfort. An entry in his diary reflects his love for that place: "The work and worry of Washington seem very far away as I rest in the large silence of the sea air. I have always felt the ocean was my friend and the sight of it brings rest and peace” (The Garfield Observer).
But it would be no easy feat getting him there. A special train brought Garfield from Washington, but the track ended at a depot some distance from their final destination. The night before his arrival a special crew laid down track for the President's train. When it arrived, the train stalled at the bottom of a hill and had to be pushed to the cottage's door by a group of men.
Great effort was exerted by countless individuals to bridge the gap between the end of the track to their ultimate goal. But that gap could never compare to the incomprehensible gulf separating sinful humanity from their holy God. Mankind stood on the edge of the hopeless task of bridging that gap.
God did have a plan. He sent His Son to offer the perfect sacrifice for all the sin ever committed (past, present, future). This was accomplished at the cross, as Paul described: "to reconcile all things to Himself … having made peace through the blood of His cross" (Colossians 1:20).