What a banged up, needy world we live in. Everywhere we turn, we hear voices calling out for help, or voices crying out on behalf of those who have no voice, no power. The cries come from despairing places where war, disease, greed and all manner of heartlessness and hopelessness have ravaged communities, sometimes beyond recognition.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like more is required of me to ease the suffering of this world. We have so many resources and just this one life to invest them. There are people who step up and run towards the places of greatest need. I am fascinated by them. I want to follow them, but it is scary.
For some reason, the imagery of a train leaving a station has been developing in my mind when it comes to committing more fully, in ways I can’t figure out yet, but have to do with choosing a less comfortable lifestyle, so that others may experience a greater measure of comfort.
This isn’t a guilt trip. It’s too big a question and the decisions too big to make based on guilt. It’s more of a heart cry for courage and direction.
And answering the question: “Will I board?”
“… I will not give God that which costs me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24
Will I Board?
What to do?
This train is about to leave the station,
That much is clear.
Steam billows and the whistle blows,
Startling me with its shrillness.
I’ve been standing on the platform,
Thinking this is a good idea,
But refusing to commit,
Talking a whole lot about grace
But not giving them in full measure,
At least not the costly kind.
I understand this train is bound for
Destinations where healing must arrive,
Where life and death hang in the balance,
And provision cannot arrive too soon.
Where fear and evil wound
But have not formed callous coverings
Like abundance and apathy often do.
Fingering my ticket for the hundredth time,
Palms sweat, heart slams, will staggers,
As I hear the Conductor call,
And move toward the sound of His voice,
His reassuring voice.
But oh, the “What ifs” weigh me down
Like so much heavy baggage.
Danger and pain await?
I mistake my plans for His?
My fears come true and the hard is too hard?
The American Dream was worthwhile after all?
Am I the young man
Who could not,
Relinquish one kingdom
To reside in another?
The story’s not a story anymore,
As the train
Quivers and lurches slowly forward
From my station stop.
I must decide.
I will decide,
One way or the other.
Will I board this train?
kpeterson April 11, 2013
Thanks to my train-loving Uncle Lance for finding this beautiful picture. Right down to the station’s name: New Hope, it is perfect. If you would like to see more of Paul Ward’s beautiful work, simply click on the photograph and you will be linked to his site. Thank you, Paul, for letting us enjoy your skillful creativity on my blog today.