I have a fun story to share with you–A God appointed celebration on a train!
During my recent trip to Eastern Europe, I had to take a train from Slovenia to Czech. Trains always make me a bit nervous when I have luggage, especially if I have to change trains and heft luggage up and down stairs to make it to the next place! On this particular trip, I had one switch but I only had 6 minutes to make the switch! I really sense the presence of Jesus walking with me when I’m alone in these times, and I spend quite a bit of time talking to Him in the process! I usually ask Him if He has any “work” for me to do in these stressful traveling situations, and He often does.
I made the 6 minute switch successfully and got on the train I would now be on for a few hours. I originally settled in one compartment only to find out that there were reservations attached to that compartment that would soon be in effect. So, I chose to move to a different compartment that had no attached reservations– one with two ladies in it.
The conductor came and took our tickets and it quickly became evident that there was a problem between one of the ladies and the conductor. The altercation was all in German so I didn’t really comprehend what was happening, but I could understand the body language well enough to know that this woman was very upset.
After the conductor left I asked the woman in English what had happened, hoping she would understand me, and the distressed woman proceeded to tell me that the conductor had rejected a certain kind of discounted ticket she had purchased and was going to charge her twice the cost of the ticket to remain on the train. At that point I heard the drink cart coming down the hallway, and I burst out with, “You know what, let’s celebrate!!! It’s going to be a better day from here on out! I’m sure about that! Can I buy you both a cup of coffee or tea?”
As the ladies looked at me in some degree of shock, I told them both about my personal tradition of a cup of tea and some chocolate with Jesus every morning, and let them know that due to an early morning departure, I had not gotten to partake of that yet. I asked them if they would join me and offered to share my chocolate! Both ladies smiled and after getting our tea/coffee and chocolate, we settled into a great 4 hour conversation. I got to share my testimony with them as well as just talk about life–theirs and mine. One woman was Venezualan and married to an American working in Austria, and the other, who had the ticket problem, was Austrian but spoke English and was going to visit her husband who worked in Vienna.
In the middle of our conversation a very traditional older Austrian woman came into our compartment, complete with a dour face and babushka cap. All conversation in the compartment ceased momentarily. However, our wonderful conductor came around for round two, and now it was evident that the older Austrian woman also had a problem. Her problem was that she had gotten on a train that did not happen to stop at her destination, which was a local station. Now she would have to ride all the way to Vienna and then go back to her stop, which meant an extra hour or so in her journey. She was visibly distressed. Just then, guess what? I heard the drink cart coming….
and I said, “Let’s celebrate!! The day will only get better from here. Can I buy you a cup of coffee or tea?” The other two women started smiling and then translated for this Austrian woman, and we all had a delightful time drinking tea/coffee together, eating chocolate, and, though they didn’t know it for what it was, drinking from the Living Water!!