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Monday, March 29, 2010

Beside The Tracks. Not On Them.

When I was little our family lived near train tracks for a while. I have fond memories of those trains and have written about them before.

Recently, while I was drifting off to sleep I began to imagine standing in the middle of train tracks, just as I had done as a little girl.

After a time a large train rounded a corner and was visibly charging down the railway towards me. The name of the engine was Desire No. 6 and it was pulling boxcars loaded with my Sin.

The train was enormous and the force of it barreling down the tracks made the ground quiver. Each of its clanks against the track sent shocks running up my legs.

It seemed impossible to me that something so massive and heavy laden could travel at such speeds, for each boxcar was engorged by its dreadful contents.

I watched mesmerized as the train swiftly drew closer; my certain death approaching. Destruction made haste by leaps and bounds.

If there had been a moment when I could have escaped the oncoming danger it was past. Suddenly terror was upon me. I was frozen in place with no hope of escape.

Just like in cartoons, the train was personified; howling and sputtering insults and curses. It appeared vicious and furious; lurching forward like a wave ready to wash over me and leave no traces of life behind.

The very next image in my mind was that of a platform at a train station. I didn't see Him do it, but I knew deep in my heart that Jesus had picked me up and instantly removed me from harm's way. I suddenly found myself beside the train and no longer in front of it.

The engine's course would not/could not, be altered. But mine could.

With toes very near the edge of the platform I watched as the enemy engine sped right by, mere inches from the tip of my nose. Following closely behind were innumerable cantankerous clanking boxcars.

Yes, I stood close by that massive enemy, yet at a very safe distance -- a world away, really.

I relished the company of my Savior by my side while, together, we watched the cars roll by, one after another. We stood close enough that the breeze from their passing rustled my hair and my dress.

Some dread of the train still remained for me, for it was very much as odious as always. But what could it do to me now? Jesus reminded me with only a glance and a smile that trains can only follow their tracks. It mattered not how close by I stood, my enemy could no longer touch me.

I watched there a long time.

Even when I had tired of watching the cars continued without number. This was a very long train indeed. It would be some time before the caboose would make it's way through.

I was tired of the racket and longed for the peace of the train's passing. I wondered how much longer we'd have to endure.

Jesus showed me the railway schedule. The time hadn't come yet.

But it would be very soon.

This train has only one destination. It won't be coming back through again.