Two Young Women on a Train

09/22/2010

Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I am no longer worthy to be called your son.
Luke 15:21 (NIV)

In this world of hurry, hurry, the train is a good way to sloooowww down. We usually catch a flight to get somewhere fast. We choose to drive our cars on the freeways to get somewhere fast! But sometimes when driving our cars around town we’ll get stopped at a train crossing, we’ll look up and see a passenger train going by, and it looks like so much fun, because it is!! When traveling on a train, it never seems to be in a hurry as it stops in different cities along the way, chugging up mountains at about 30 miles an hour, and stopping to allow freight trains to pass by and get their loads delivered on time.

On a recent train trip, I observed two young women traveling alone. They came into the lounge car to enjoy the view out the window, one wearing a T-shirt she seemed to have gotten at a Christian Camp. The other wearing tattoos on her arm…three large sixes with two upside-down crosses in between them. As a Christian, of course, it seems that the three sixes young woman is in need of more prayer than the T-shirted young woman, but we can’t know for sure where someone is in their relationship with God just because they have a Jesus T-shirt on, or a bumper sticker on their car, or a cross around their neck. Only God can know the condition of our heart.

Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons.”
Luke 15:11 (NIV)

Two sons…and two young women on a train, seemingly opposite in their approach to God’s love—their Father’s love for them. And yet, I wonder just how different they are? One young woman seemingly loving Jesus, and one opposing Him with all her might. God presents these different situations in our lives, always teaching us through the people around us and through our own experiences if we are looking for His great lessons along the way. Perhaps our T-shirt is as much a statement of rebellion as three sixes tattooed on our arm, because rebellion is more about trying to earn our way into Heaven by being good, or earn our way out of Heaven by being rebellious, rather than about Who our Father God really is and what His love is really all about.

We have some of “both sons” from Jesus’ story in Luke 15 in all of us, and we all need our Father’s love more than anything else on this planet. Both of those young women on the train were expressing themselves....both of them can look for God’s love and find it.

But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of
yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
Luke 15:32 (NIV)