Many years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Germany and stay with a friend’s mom. It was during my relationship with Ben. We made arrangements that during our visit, we would take a train to Florence, and spend a few days in Italy. The day that we were supposed to leave for Florence, I had gotten times mixed up, and we ended up missing our train. Our hostess, called the station, and found a train that would catch us up to the one we were supposed to be on (we had a sleeping car).
We got to the train station, got on the new train, and sat down in a car with only one other passenger. We settled in, leaned back, and were ready to enjoy the ride.
The other passenger was an older woman. She glanced at me several times, making brief eye contact. I’d smile and nod. This went on for about an hour, when the lady looked at me with her brow furrowed, and said, “Paris?” She gestured to the train, then asked again, “Paris?”
This train was not headed to Paris, so I shook my head and said No. The woman wailed! She began slapping herself and pulling at her hair. She created such a ruckus that the porter came running. A few passengers gathered to see if anyone could help. It was determined that she was speaking Russian, but no one else on the train could.
I had a thought that, like us, she might need to transfer at some point. I showed her my itinerary, and pointed at her, hoping she’d understand that I wanted to see hers. She handed it to me. I looked it over, and she was on the correct train. I showed her that the number on her itinerary matched the number on mine, then I gestured to this train. She would need to transfer at the same place I would be transferring. By the grace of God, her platform was the one right next to the one Ben and I would need to be on. I took her hand, patted my chest, and smiled, hoping she’d understand that if she stayed with me, I’d get her where she needed to go.
She calmed down, sat back, and dozed a little as we rode along. Occasionally, she’d awaken with a start, look at me, wide-eyed, and I would do my best to reassure her that I would not leave without her and she was ok.
When we made it to the transfer station, I patted her to let her know that this was our stop. Ben took both of our bags, and I look one handle of the woman’s bag, while she took the other. Then we ran/walked to her platform. When we got there, I showed her that the marquee said “Paris.”
Oh, the joy and relief on that woman’s face! She kissed me on both cheeks, then raised her arms toward Heaven while saying something. Then she gestured toward me, then back toward Heaven. Without any language in common, I knew she was thanking God for sending her an angel. We hugged, shook hands, and smiled big smiles, and my heart was so full of joy that even 15 years later, I am high just thinking about it!
Just think, none of that would have happened if we hadn’t missed our train!