The hurried family was on its way to visit Grandma; the train was about to pull out of the station ...
On a hot Friday afternoon last week, I was walking to a commuter train at the Hoboken, New Jersey, depot when something small crashed into my legs from behind.
I turned and saw a little girl, maybe two or three years old, being pulled up by the limber arm of her mother, who was rushing to get to a platform not 15 yards away.
One thing you might know about trains: They don’t wait for anybody. I’ve seen some pretty angry people to prove it.
The mother’s arms were loaded down with a purse, a tote bag and a backpack; her sunglasses were propped on her forehead and a water bottle was in the hand that wasn’t pulling her young daughter. On the other side ambled a boy with a crew cut, wearing a blue T-shirt, shorts and sandals. The mother and daughter were in summer dresses. It looked like the family was on its way to visit Grandma.
There are few things that pull at me more than seeing a parent in a rush, traveling with children. Being a father of two daughters, it didn’t take much for me to want to reach out, pick up the girl and carry her along for the mom. I wanted to help with the bags too. Something! But that probably would have been odd, so they were on their own.
The boy went into action. He could have been only four or five years old, but he ran to the gate of pilloried iron bars and in his small voice shouted at the station master, “Wait! Wait!” I was worried that the boy would go through without his family. Instead, he yelled again, practically jumping up and down. In the next instant, the mother and daughter were there.
The gate started moving; the station master pretended that he wasn’t closing it any slower than normal. They made it through. The train wouldn’t pull away now until the family was safely onboard.
Though it worked for the boy—just barely—I doubt I’d have that kind of effect on the station master. But I do know this: I can have that effect on God. Next time I’m running out of time and things aren’t looking so good, I’m just going to yell, “Wait! Wait!” That gate won’t close.