This morning started like many mornings before it. The alarm chimes at 4:30 a.m., I get up, turn on my computer, clear my dishes in Cafe World (a MINOR addiction of mine), watch the news while discussing the day's activities with my husband.
Recently, we've been having a problem with our 1996 Suburu starting up in the mornings. So my husband would go out to start the car 30-minutes before our departure time from home to drop me at the Light Rail, which started my commute.
He had replaced, already, almost every hose, gasket, and moving part to coax our Green Hornet to coperate with starting, when requested. Finally, we were gifted with a new SEAR's battery and that seems to have helped.
I was simply thankful that it would start after several tries because otherwise I would have a 20-minute trek to the nearest bus stop, in 20 degree weather, to begin my two-hour commute to work!
I was thankful this morning because I was able to withdraw money out of the ATM to pay for my commuter tickets. I thanked Him all along the route to the Light Rail for having the ability to "ride" to the station in the coldest of the morning.
Light Rail Revelation
My husband and I talked a little more as I waited for the first Light Rail train to depart the side track. I remembered that I needed to purchase I ticket and I bid my husband good-bye and crossed the tracks.
Like the waves that surfer's dream of, my eyes were drawn to the bench on the platform. There was a huge lump and at the end of it were well-worned Timberland-like boots. They look as if they had been discarded but retrieved by their new owner. I, slowed my gait in horror! I continued to the ticket machine and held the ticket in my beautiful smooth black leather glove that my husband gave to me!
I hesitated as I knew that I must pass her, the lump, covered with a grayish-covering that looked like meshed floor felt. 5:52 a.m. The train pulls up. The other commuters who were waiting for the train, exit their warm cars as the Light Rail Train approached. I could hear the moans of disatisfaction and disgust as the commuters reached the platform.
I was distressed. What should I do? What can I do? I reached in my pocket to see if I had any dollar bills that I could tuck into one of the plastic bags that hung for dear life from her overfilled shopping cart! Her life! Summed up in the number of plastic bags of varying colors and sizes. My heart seemed to race! As the train pulled to a stop, a voice rang out amongst the growling of the commuters. "What time is it?" I immediately said "6 o'clock." This only served to more the already growling commuters more discontent with the lump on the bench!
She was a bundle of coat, upon coat, upon covering and more coats! She struggled to get her cart on the train and one of the men helped her! The guy who had taken a seat behind me was so disgusted that she sat feets away from him that he angrily left and went to another car. The guy, who sat in front of me said that he had seen her there several times before. You see, the last train left Trenton, New Jersey and this stop was it's last stop. That was at 9 p.m. last night!
My head began to swim as pictures of this elderly woman had been on that cold, hard park bench all night! Whether it was age or her circumstances that made her look elderly, I don't know but Oh, Lord! Sleeping through the night of freezing temperatures was hard for me to concede to.
It was time for the train to depart on its usual route, when her voice rang out again! My bag, please, my bag! I turned around and she had left her bag, which she said her train ticket was in on the park bench which had been her bed! The conductor exited the train and returned with her precious bundle! She thanked him with such graciousness!
I surveyed the commuters on the train. They were the usual people that I could count on being on this train every day of the week. Except for holidays, vacation and the sort. One lady, a correction officer, the men in front and in back of me were Amtrak Rail employees. Some of the others worked for government agencies.
The Amtrak worker in front of me said "they have shelters that she can go to!" I couldn't reply. The consensus of the lot of commuters were that she was responsible for her condition. He further went on to say: "I bet you she's going to get in the way of us leaving the train to catch our connection!"
On the return ride on, the Correction Officer said aloud "you don't want to be harsh when you see them! Trying to get to work and your confronted by the homeless and derelicts!" Her voice seem to trail into oblivion as the weight of her statement filled the space. I felt that she wanted me to know that she wasn't heartless but the stresses of the times provoke people us to a place where we forget compassion.
I'm now thankful for the Suburu that starts up at 5:30 a.m. in the morning! I'm thankful for a husband that gets out of his warm bed to drop me off at the train station. I'm thankful for the job that I have. I've even grown thankful of the ruthfulness of my coworkers. I'm thankful that He graces me with the ability to pray for them, for they know not what they do! I'm thankful for my safe journey home. In fact, in just under a year I've been on a train or behind a train that someone jumped in front of! I'm thankful for the faculties of my mind! Thankful for His PEACE that passeth all understanding! Thankful for the dinner that hubby prepares while tending to our 3 and 8-year old grandchildren! Thankful for the doctor examine that revealed that hubby needed a pacemaker at the age of 44! Thankful that He did not allowed the enemy to overcome us...thankful...
I declare this year a year of radical THANKFULNESS! Everyday acknowledging my thankfulness in Word or Deed!
I pray the peace of God over your mind, life, and dwelling. I pray that if you don't know Him as your personal Saviour that you will take this opportunity to ask for His forgiveness and that He come into your heart and reign supreme.
I pray that today will start of new beginning into the depth of His grace, love, power, and Holiness. In Jesus' Name!