Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Train

“This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world…” Colossians 1:6a

Looking out our living room window I watched another long train rumble down the tracks, sometimes blowing its loud horn. It’s always on the move day and night as it travels from coast to coast. One day, while watching the frequent scenic view a picture flashed through my mind. It was like God was saying, “Joy, those trains represent a grassroots movement that is happening across Canada(and around the globe) in outreach to Muslim women. There’s no stopping now. Each box car represents a particular Christian woman’s name who is sharing Jesus with a Muslim woman. You are all a spiritual force that no one can stop. The spiritual train is gathering momentum by the power of the Holy Spirit. You are all connected and following the engine down the track where it’s directed to go.” Wow – that changed how I look at those daily trains clicking along on those nearby tracks! No more are they a nuisance but full of meaning.

You are teaching sewing, literacy, or ESL to Muslim women. Some of you are teachers in the public school system and have Muslim students. One teaches piano or driving lessons or shares Christ via the internet. Others of you go berry picking or watch a movie together. Many of you are having Muslim women over to your homes for tea or meals. Some of you are hair stylists and get into good conversations with your Muslim client. Your children play with Muslim neighbor kids who invite them to a church club, camp, or youth group. Quite a number of you are nurses caring for Muslim women or have nurse colleagues who are Muslim. One Christian woman I met cares for the occasional dying Muslim woman in palliative care. God bless the Christian woman coming alongside an abused Muslim woman, entering her emotional wounds and providing some immediate material needs. The Train has many box cars, each with a name painted on it like Betsy, Irene, Holly, Lorraine, Lupe, Helen, or Iman.

Little by little the grace and love of Jesus is being spread by word and deed to wonderful Muslim women all over the world. Yesterday a conservatively dressed Arab friend poured out her soul pain to me. She observed that western women either look away when they see her or look at her like she is from another world. She said, “I just want them to look at me like I’m normal.” How can we not just throw our arms around these women and tell them we love them? They are so precious. I’m glad you don’t look away.

I can hear the Train faintly in the distance…..

Dear heavenly Father, please connect us sisters together in a more tangible way. Help no one to feel all alone but that we are like one big train with each box car hitched to another. In Jesus’ name, Amen.