The morning sun was just beginning to shine through the curtains in my sister's guest bedroom when I heard a familiar sound: the sound of a train just about a mile and a half away.
I laid in the bed and listened to a sound that brought back many childhood memories. In those days, we couldn't go anywhere, except to church, without crossing the tracks.
Sometimes we were lucky enough to be the first car at the crossing. There was something magical about the engine and conductor, counting all the cars, and getting a wave or a nod from the man in the caboose.
I thought about an analogy I once heard, where a moving train is used to explain how God sees time.
We, as humans, see a train going down the track in sequence. The engine first, then the cars, one at a time, and lastly, we see the caboose.
God sees the engine, all the cars, and the caboose at one time. Beginning to end and all in between, in one glance.
As I thought about the analogy, it seemed funny how man is always trying to explain how God thinks, how He sees, and why He does what He does.
I smiled as I thought about the difference between an infinite God and our little, finite minds.
I wondered if it made Him smile, too.
If God really does see the train on the track all at once . . . engine, cars, and caboose, is that how He sees my life? Does He see my birth, all the days in between, and my death at the same time? With one glance?
And if He does, what does He think about it?
I thought about my life. The part I've seen. The part I can remember. Good decisions, bad decisions. Stupid choices, smart choices. Days I did it right and days I did it wrong. Times I cherish and times I try hard to forget.
I decided that my life is just what it is. And if it's not covered by His Grace...
Well the Good News is, that it is covered by His Grace.
Later that morning, as my sister and I were driving down the interstate, I heard the same sound I had heard earlier in the morning. I looked outside the car window and there, parallel to us, was a train coming down the tracks. The tracks I crossed so many times as a little girl.
My sister couldn't understand why I was taking a picture of a train.
To me it was so much more than a train. It was confirmation.
God had been with me earlier that morning as I had laid in bed and listened to the train go by.
He knew my thoughts. And He saw my heart.
Was the infinite God using a train to speak to His finite child?
I think so.
That train was a Holy wink and a nod!
"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, "You are my God."
My times are in You hand."