Finding God’s Presence on the Subway

Even on a delayed rush hour train, divine grace brings people together. 

Posted in , Jan 29, 2019

Sensing God's presence on the subway

The A-train came to a halt in the middle of a New York City subway tunnel during my Friday rush-hour commute home. Uh-oh.

After a while the conductor came on the loudspeaker to announce, in a muffled voice, “Sorry for the inconvenience. We are being held here because the train ahead of us has a passenger with emotional difficulties.”

Most people only caught the last two words. Earbuds came out as people asked, “Wait—what was that about emotional difficulties?”

“Did the conductor say he has emotional difficulties?”

“I’m confused. Are we stopped because of… emotional difficulties?!”

Everyone started talking. Finally a 20-something guy proclaimed, “Now we ALL have emotional difficulties trying to figure out what’s going on!” and the whole car laughed

As the two-minute delay (which could have easily turned into a 45-minute delay) played out, people engaged with each other trying to puzzle their way through the half-heard announcement. And I thought, Huh. Here’s a blessing in the midst of an inconvenience: people are connecting with each other instead of hunkering down into their phones and books.

So I thanked God for that. And prayed for the people on the other train, who were (perhaps) experiencing a difficult situation.

After a bit, the subway jerked into action, and the people around me cheered, and we all moved on in more ways than one. And still… God was there, in action. You can look at it as a difficult interlude or you can look at it as a moment of connection. Both are probably true. And regardless of your perspective, God was present.

It’s something to consider the next time you’re facing what might be a stressful situation. God is there.

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