a sound I would rather never hear again,
the lady on the train was distraught
and that sound came from the very depths of her soul.
She sat across from me, the train was crowded and I couldn't see her face, but amongst a sea of people I could hear the sobbing of this woman,
From what I could understand it had been just a regular day, she was coming home from work on the train when her phone rang.
The cries soon followed.
The call ended, the crying didn't.
It was her daughter.
A daughter phoning her mother to tell her she had cancer in it's last stages.
Sporadically through the tears she managed some words to the man beside her trying to offer comfort,
"She's only 22."
"She left it too late to get it checked."
"My mother died when I was 9 and now my daughter has the same thing."
The train was silenced for all but her sobs, the wailing, the heart-break.
A mother in Perth,
her daughter in Sydney,
they needed no space between them at this point in time.
I wanted to do something, but what?
To offer comfort, but how?
I hadn't even seen her face yet, but I saw her heart and it was broken,
and her crying was fracturing mine in the process.
"What can I do God?" I asked. "Surely I am on this train for a reason? I'm certain you put me here Lord, so now what?"
I frantically searched my bag, purse, books for something, anything that might give her hope, strength, represent His Love, but nothing jumped out at me.
"Oh God, if I'm meant to do something you'd better hurry up, I'm almost at my stop! Perhaps she'll get off at the same time as me - then what? Come on God, what shall I do? Anything?"
And then my station was announced and within moments the train came to a halt. I stood as others made their way to the door, and so did the lady. Her grief-stricken face was now in sight. I reached thru the moving crowd and touched a re-affirming hand on her shoulder, she didn't turn but started to weep again as we made our way to the door. A lot of people got off the train and by then she was a fair distance away from me. My eyes stayed on her. I couldn't peel them away.
So the touch on the shoulder wasn't sufficient in my book, I mean images of the woman with the issue of blood reaching out and touching Jesus' hem flashed before my eyes...but "hold your horses" I told myself, who did I think I was?!! When I touched her shoulder, no power had left me like it did Jesus (as I'd hoped, go figure??!!:-) so I knew there was still something I had to give.
So I walked and watched with my mind abuzz,
'Should I just go to my car, pray she's ok and get on with it?'
'Should I follow her for a bit and make sure she's ok?'
"Oh God, there's something you want me to do, I'm sure of it!"
Right outside the train station is also a bus station. As I began to walk towards the carpark to find my car (taking the 'chickening out' option) I saw her get on a parked bus. The next thing, before my head knew what my body was doing, I found myself walking alongside that bus, then jumped on to find her standing at the front, fumbling through a timetable trying to figure out where she had to go.
I touched her shoulder once again, this time she turned as I said,
I was on the train.
How about I get you home?"
She gripped hold of my arms, nodded and the tears flowed once more as I lead her off the bus and to my car.
She told me of her daughter, of her kind-hearted nature, her beautiful heart. She told me of losing her mother as a child and how she couldn't bear to lose her baby girl also. She told me of her life and her work and the challenges she had faced. In the short 10 minute drive to her home I had established that this woman was a fighter. She had faced life through some really tough times, yet she hadn't let it stop her. As we neared her place I reminded her of the tenacity within her that was already apparent to me, a stranger. Her crying stopped and she looked at me for a moment with a small portion of renewed energy....and a smile.
She mentioned, as we pulled down her street that she had been with her daughter a few weeks ago and when it was time to go there was this sense that she needed to stay. She said her daughter had felt it too, to the point she had made her mum miss her flight back to Perth. She ended up on the next flight but was now wishing she had stayed.
Just as she was about to get out of my car, I told her that the feeling she'd had, that urging, that whisper in her heart is what I believe to be the voice of the One True God, that He is with her and is in control. I encouraged her to listen to only that whisper because He will be her saving Grace and source of strength, and that I will be praying for her and her daughter.
She hugged me and thanked me and told me my children are the luckiest in the world to have me as their mum. And as I watched her walk away, I realised that no, I'm the lucky one.
I didn't get her name, she didn't get mine, it all happened so fast. But she had got to my heart and in doing so, HE had got to hers too.
Join with me in believing for miraculous healing and for God's hand in this situation, Eternity will thank you!
Oh and one last thought,
let me ask you,
are you standing at the right station?
God wants to use you,
who knows where it might take you!
oh and just for good measure here's a pic of Anne Shirley - gotta love this lass! x