The train was just about empty when I got on at 15th St. in Center City.
I was slightly self conscious due to the fact that I looked like a drowned rat after my shower at yoga. Usually, I like to write on the train. There's something about the sound and the motion that gets my thoughts flowing. There was a lot of work to be done before Sunday and I was well into the second page of my writing, when I heard a person calling out to me.
My general policy about talking to strangers on the train is-not to! Sometimes I close my eyes or look away, but I do not like to talk. This person was not giving up and he kept saying "Excuse me... excuse me...." Finally, I turned around and found myself face to face with a man who was dressed like he worked on Wall Street. He was articulate and had kind eyes. He simply wanted to know what I was writing. Not quite sure what to say, I told him I was writing a speech. He persisted, telling me that he could see that I was writing about God and wanted to know more. My anxiety went way up, knowing that he had been reading everything I was writing. But, I took a breath and decided to tell him.
I explained that there were these people who were very close to God. They had gotten themselves into some trouble and were thrown out of their city. They didn't like where they were living because it didn't feel like home and they didn't think they would ever get back home again. They talked to their leader, Jeremiah, and he told them to plant gardens, to build houses and to pray for the city because God had great plans for them. If they helped the city and prayed for peace, they would have a bright future. This was pretty much the last thing that the people felt like doing. They didn't want to plant or build, but
they did want to hear more about the great plans that God had for them. Obviously, they had to do one thing to get the other!
Just when I thought I had bored the man right out of his mind, he stopped me and said,"you know, I have gotten into some trouble
and don't have a place to call home. In fact, I'm not sure where I am going right now. I usually take the earlier train, but today I did my devotions and took the later one. I think I needed to hear these words. I need to hear that God still cares about me and has a plan. Thank you sister. I won't take any more of your time. I just can't believe that so many things could go wrong and God still has hope in me."
Wow! Was this the same man that I was going to ignore? Was this the man who I didn't want to talk to? God had a message for him and he almost didn't get it because of me! Here he was, all dressed up with literally no place to go and yet he felt hope knowing that God cared
for him and had a plan. How does this kind of thing happen? A Random woman on train writing and a man dressed up sits down right behind her. Words are being written and life is reshaped and hope is given. What an amazing God we have, who works through us, even in spite of us!