March 12, 2009

The Train Lady

This is the first time this kind of thing has happened to me... it's another sign of how God has been moving in awesome ways over the past six months of my life.

I boarded the train in the Williamsburg depot to head back to my hometown for Spring Break. As I think about it even now, I could have easily boarded another car without a second thought; a car that did not have on it the lady with message for me. But God made sure I got onto the right car.

I took my luggage to the front of the train, as I needed a place to store my guitar and bag for the ride. Sticking out of my jacket pocket was a copy of C.S. Lewis's The Four Loves, just enough so that the title at the top of the cover could be read. I was planning on reading it on the trip to Fredericksburg. As I turned to set down my guitar, my overly-large backpack was in someone's face. She kindly said "excuse me" and I finally got myself turned around after setting down the guitar to apoligize with "Sorry, I'm a bit wide today." I gave a small, slightly embaressed sorry-my-backpack-was-in-your-face smile to the middle-aged woman. Then she took the conversation in a whole new direction.

"I've always wanted to read that book," she said, indicating The Four Loves in my pocket. "Oh, this one?" I said, taking it out. I could smell the start of a good conversation. Then she asked me, "Can I have it?"

I have, for a long time, wondered what it would be like for a stranger to ask me for something, out of the blue and for free. I wanted to be able to give it freely, without holding back, just blessing the person. And then, I got that chance.

I was elated as I realized a daydream of mine was being fulfilled. A grin stretched itself across my face as I said "Sure! Here you go" and handed it too her. "Thanks, honey. You never know who you're giving something to," was her reply... as if that didn't give me enough to think about, she asked me "Do you play guitar?" She had seen me carry it up. I replied, "Yeah," not knowing what she was going to tell me next. "I wanna encourage you to keep doin' your work in the Lord. And write that song." As soon as she said it, God made it clear in my heart: I knew exactly what song she was talking about. Angel or just a lady who has a great connection with God, she encouraged me in so many ways with our 30-second conversation.

Giving that book away was a great experience. When my best friend Andrew and I got back to our seats on the train, he looked at me slightly bewildered and said "She took your book!" I said "No, she asked for it and I gave it to her." It was liberating and fulfilling to have that opportunity. And the fact that God put on my heart a very specific song; it was one that I had been getting lines for in my head, one every few days; they would just pop into my head and I would rush over to my laptop to write it down. Very much a Godsong, one he's crafting specifically in my heart. It also encouraged me to practice guitar on a more regular basis... I have had a conviction to focus on praise/worship/God-themed songs in my playing instead of just casual, for-fun contemporary songs, and God really sealed that in my heart on the train that day.

There was a high density of God being really awesome in the couple of days before I got on the train... God brought healing to a situation with a friend, and in such way that very obviously glorified HIM as the mover; I thank him for that one a lot. Right after that I got a word of encouragement from a friend at a church I used to go to, who's been growing in his own walk with God. A wonderful set of three really encouraging happenings.

It seems God is beginning to favor working in threes in my life... at the end of winter break, at my last Sunday at my home church (which is the safest, most comfortable place in the world to me) three different pairs of people prayed for me- completely independent of one another. The first two groups asked if it was my last Sunday before I left, and then offered to pray for me. I was saying goodbye to the third pair, unexpectedly started to break down (in a good way... coming to terms with some things God had opened my eyes to and leaving a safe haven) and then they lifted me up. He's been making it really obvious that he's got my back. It's a great feeling.

The first verse to my Godsong, as yet without a title:

I'm holding back this avalanche with frostbitten hands
And I'm testing my courage just to see where it stands
You say that my time has come and I let go
And I ride the river born of the snow


  1. Four Loves is a gorgeous, gorgeous book. I'd gotten a copy for Christmas, and am almost through with it.
    Since your copy has migrated on to greener pastures, would you like to borrow mine when I finish?

  2. That's never know who you're interacting with.