Strangers on a Train

It was early morning, and not much chatter on the C train heading into Manhattan. I sat down next to a young man I noticed not sporting ear-phones. I asked him if he was a student, and he told me yes, but that he lived in St. Vincent in the Caribbean. I felt free to ask further about his life, and he told me all about his homeland. His excitement and warm smile drew us together. When I asked him about his church affiliation though he stopped smiling, and looked a little sheepish.
“I stopped church a long time ago,” he confided. I kept him engaged by telling him that I had spent the first 20 years of my life without a real appreciation for the things of God. He relaxed, and I decided to tell my story.
“At 19 I woke up one morning wondering where truth could be found. I decided that if it existed at all that someone must know about it. So, I stuck out my thumb one day on route 80 and headed west, for ten days. On that trip I asked everyone I met a single question. “What do you believe?”
By now Andrew leaned in over the clatter of the train and the conductors muffled announcements. He wanted to know what I had discovered. When I got to the part about meeting Russ, the first genuine Christian I had ever spoken with, he asked me how he had answered my question about belief. “It wasn’t so much what he said,” I began, “but here was a person comfortable in his own skin, enthusiastic over the life he led, and down right joyful! It was the quality of his life that pushed a pin-hole into my idea of what mattered most.”
Andrew listened and I went on to explain how Russ sent me long hand written letters about the message of Jesus, and sent me my first copy of the Bible. At that point I simply said, “Andrew, I discovered for the first time that the Christian message is not about what I can do, but about what someone else has done for me. It’s a relationship based on love and lived out by faith.”
“Thank you,” he said. “I don’t think our meeting today was by accident.” We exchanged emails, and promised to stay in touch. And here’s the craziest part of the whole drama. We hadn’t known each other for more than 15-20 minutes, but I found myself loving Andrew, and wanting the very best for him. Love sat between us, because Jesus Christ showed up unexpectedly one grey morning heading to work on the C train. Two strangers, and an irresistible Savior who knit our hearts together, and showed a twenty-something the path to life.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Moses Sanchez says:

    Great story. Keep the great work up.

  2. Ken Mentz says:

    Great story! In all the years I’ve known you, I’ve not heard this before! Thanks for sharing!


  3. Gregg Hess says:

    Powerful. Thanks Kevin. And thanks Moses as well for sharing with us.

  4. Beth Booram says:

    Kevin, I grow in my faith when I read your stories. Thanks for sharing this. Beth

  5. Dan Lee says:

    Great post! You always are an inspiration!

  6. Dave Meritt says:

    it’s amazing how God uses us in the lives of others – thanks for sharing

  7. Jon Totaram says:

    Amen, I love the legacy God builds into our lives. AMEN!

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