Grace on a Train Ride

Lately you’ve been telling me, “I’m feeling shy a little bit.”

Even when you don’t admit it, there are occasions when I can see it written on your face in scenarios that you used to do nothing but smile through.

It makes me sad, sometimes, to see it, especially on the day we prepared to board the train at the zoo. You have always loved riding that train, not once have you boarded without an excited smile. But not this day.

You were excited to get on, so we made our way over to the station. This day we had an exceptional conductor. He went above and beyond from the beginning of our encounter with him. We were his first customers of the day, but he made it seem we were royalty who had rented out the entire premises. He asked your name, and the shyness came on you then.

You looked down with timidity, and gingerly handed over the ticket when He bent down, called you by name, and welcomed you aboard. I wondered at this exchange.

Why would you be anything but excited by this special treatment? He kept talking to you over the intercom throughout the ride, continuing to call you by name. Still you looked down with your shy face intact, seemingly ignoring the sights the conductor was pointing out to us.

The kindness of this man continued to touch me, and it’s as if he knew that if he kept pouring grace and blessings on you, you’d eventually realize what a beautiful trip this trek around the tracks with him as your conductor could be.

Our conductor stopped at the station after only one time around the tracks, but instead of kicking us off, he let on two more passengers before continuing on the journey. Slowly, the smile started warming your face as our new friend at the wheel made this the best train ride of our lives.

We received a bonus trip around the tracks thanks to the grace of our conductor, and the last time around, your shyness left. You even found enough confidence to wave at by-standers and point out the turtles who sunned their weathered bodies on the logs by the shore.

That day on the train, I felt a connection to the part of you that felt a little bit shy. I feel it sometimes when I go before God in prayer. I feel a complete mess as I attempt to pour out my requests to the very One who created the world and all it contains, and it’s hard for me to look up at Him with confidence. I’m thankful He doesn’t take offense at my shyness or write me off as some rude kid who doesn’t know what a gift He’s giving me with grace greater than my sins.

He calls me by name, no matter how much I cower and ignore His voice. He gives me more and more grace with each trip around the track, and He silently cheers when I get it enough to show the confidence He longs for me to possess and exude so that I may boldly approach the throne of grace.

So that day when you finally showed your smile and wave, I cheered for both of us, and I thanked God for grace on a train ride.

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