When I was a little girl, we lived earshot close to some railroad tracks. We also lived near a pig farm. Life was hard, due to severe child abuse, but the smell of the pig farm, and the whoo-woo of the trains were rhythms threaded in my life that gave a tumultuous existence, some constancy.
Winds coming from the east were especially pungent in the middle of the night, under the covers of a non-air conditioned home, in Southern Florida. Nothing outside of intentional burrowing under the suffocation of sheets and a light blanket would allow escape from the stench.
But, at 4am every morning, no matter how alone I felt, or desperate for solace from the madness of a home environment where my father struggled to make sense of his own life, and my brother, mom and self dodged to keep out of his way, the trains came. Faithfully. On time. And wide-awake dreams followed the symphony, of where I imagined these trains could take me, if I jumped on.
God in His kindness would blow the winds westward into this little girl’s open windows, to carry the soothing clickety-clack, clickety-clack of the train’s old wheels on the rusted track
joints, the squeal of steel brakes on the rail coming through town, and His voice of consolation in the distance, to promise rescue disguised as the train’s recurring horn.
Exodus 2:23-25 proves God’s care for us in our darkest nights, in our times of captivity where we feel abandoned.
But then there are the pigs; the squeals for our attention, which distract us from the need for silence to hear and believe that help and hope is on its way. To avoid the stench and noise of our pigs, which we seem to not escape, we muffle the sound of the forthcoming train, buried under the covers, ignorantly preoccupied.
Yet the train, relentlessly on a liberation mission, speeds forward. Will you not hear it? Do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43: 18-19).
The train of hope, which transports precious cargo, God’s heart for you, is never far, if we will just be still enough to hear its assurance of deliverance and a new thing born.
Throw off those coverings, wake up your sweet self, and know that it is God alone who stands lovingly in the front engine as the Conductor to invite you to jump on, and remind you of your future destination.