Mending the Net: Luck may have died and love may be cold, but with You forever I'll stay

Friday, September 08, 2006

Luck may have died and love may be cold, but with You forever I'll stay

Do not boast about tomorrow,

for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

Proverbs 27:1 NIV

On Tuesday night, at 10:53pm, I got on the sleeper train from Cornwall to London. I traveled on it until reaching Paddington station at 5:05am. Alone, I walked through the passages and corridors to the underground platform I needed to get across London to the next National Rail station where, at 6:16am I set off on another train to the coast of Kent.

Now, that might seem a lot of information, inconsequential to anyone but me and mine who were praying for my safe passage – but it’s not inconsequential information to God. Jesus sat beside me on each train and He showed Himself to me on each of those trains.

Let me tell you about the first instance on the journey.

The prudent see danger and take refuge,

but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

Proverbs 27:12 NIV

When the train stopped at Plymouth station in the middle of the night, there was a commotion…but wait, I’m getting ahead of myself, let me set the scene.

It was a well lit carriage, mostly one person on every 2 seats, with their bags/coats/food on the seat next to them. On the seat in front of me was a man, mid forties, watching a portable DVD player with headphones in so as not to disturb anyone. Behind me was a girl about my age, also with headphones on. Across the aisle were mostly empty seats. I was quietly listening to some music on my MP3 player (yes, I too joined the merry band of headphone wearers!) and trying to nap when we stopped at Plymouth station in the middle of the night.

There was a commotion. A large man, reeking of alcohol and smoke, with an enormous backpack came down the aisle of the carriage and talked loudly to a woman who, though also heaving a large backpack, did not worry me as much as the man had. She seemed to be trying to calm the man down.

Stone is heavy and sand a burden,

but provocation by a fool is heavier than both.

Proverbs 27:3 NIV

The woman sat down in a non-reserved seat, but the man refused to join her as the seat did not have a table. Further up the carriage from me, on the other side of the aisle, the man woke up a boy who had been sleeping since I boarded the train and sat down in a reserved seat next to him. He told the boy, “I’m sitting next to you, ok?” and then proceeded to pick up the boy’s luggage and move it about, telling him it looked as if it had been about to fall down. The boy asked him to leave his luggage alone.

I was getting worried and scared. This man seemed to be the kind that my mother warned me to cross the road to avoid. I was feeling unsafe. “Oh Lord, please let the ticket inspector come through this carriage – please deliver me from this fear. I ask Jesus to accept my hand into His: please help me.”

Within a minute, the ticket inspector came through and the man argued with him a lot, voice raised and eyes blazing. He had no ticket. Didn’t know where he wanted to go. Didn’t have any money to buy a ticket. He was kicking up a real fuss. It would have scared me even more than before if I hadn’t asked God to help me already. I knew He sent the ticket inspector to help me. The inspector was calm and spoke in controlled tones, the man was getting more and more agitated and I was perhaps the only young lady in the carriage not shrinking back into her seat.

Better is open rebuke

than hidden love.

Proverbs 27:5 NIV

The ticket inspector asked him why he was on the train if he didn’t have a ticket, nor any intention, inclination or means to buy a ticket, in genuine concern, it seemed to me. The man looked at him and laughed,

“Because I wanted to. What’s wrong with wanting a free ride?”

“What, sir, is right with it, is what I’d like to know. Would you please come with me, you’ll be leaving the train at the next station.”

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;

someone else, and not your own lips.

Proverbs 27:2 NIV

The man was escorted from the train by the inspector, when the inspector returned through the carriage I said “Thank you” to him, my heart in my words and eyes as I looked at him. He looked shocked and then smiled and said “I was just trying to follow the best example I ever learned about each Sunday.”


I napped on and off for the rest of the journey, gospel music soothing my ears and the unfamiliar sounds of the carriage away.

No matter how inconsequential you might believe your life, your schedule, your day-to-day routine is – God sees. He knows and He hears your prayers. He certainly heard mine and He sent a good man to save me from fear.

Praise be.


Anonymous Alyssa C. said...

Wow! What a story! God surely took care of you at that time! :)

8:54 am  
Anonymous Heidi said...

Praise the Lord! I really enjoyed reading this story...He is so good.

7:53 pm  
Blogger Elisse said...

Praise God for that wonderfully inspiring story!

And it was so well written too :)

God bless! Love in Christ :)

9:12 am  

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