After our August break it’s good to be in touch with you once again through the corps bulletin. For those of you who were able to get away during the summer months, I hope you were able to enjoy the time away from your normal routine.
Earlier in the week, I had to return the Army’s emergency response vehicle back to its depot in Cradley Heath. To get back home I decided it was quicker and easier to take the train. As there was no direct train home, I had to change trains in Worcester. The train station in Worcester didn’t seem to have many trains passing through and yet for the thirty minutes I sat on the platform waiting for the Gloucester train there seemed to be plenty to see.
There were only two trains to pass through whilst I was waiting. The first was a London Paddington bound train made up of 10 carriages. Suddenly, to my left I was aware of a lot of commotion and noise. The ticket collector on the train was forcibly throwing three young men off the train. I can only assume they were fare dodgers and they did not take kindly to being man-handled from the train. Punches were thrown and bits of the train carriage were used at missiles to hurl at the conductor and the windows of the train. As the police sirens wailed the three men quickly left the scene. What a horrible job – ejecting troublemakers and then facing their aggression. I was glad to not be a ticket collector as I wouldn’t like to have thrown those lads off the train!
Contrast this later on with a scene at the other end of the platform – a small group of train spotters, all excitedly clicking away on their cameras and taking notes in a notebook. What baffled me was they were taking pictures of what looked like a normal 3 carriage train. I could understand such excitement to take pictures of the Flying Scotsman, The Mallard or some other famous steam train or high speed equivalent. But a simple, box standard 3 carriage London Midland train? What’s so special about that?
On the train home I reflected on the previous 30 minutes, and saw there were messages to be had in both incidents. Firstly, to appreciate those people who do the jobs I wouldn’t want to do. We all need to do unpleasant tasks from time to time and cannot abdicate them to others. Secondly, what’s not so special to me can be meaningful to others. It’s easy to dismiss something that doesn’t appeal to me personally; it doesn’t mean that it is unimportant or insignificant. I certainly appreciate the punishment and pain Jesus endured in those last few days of his life – all to communicate the unfathomable and unconditional love that God has for me and to show me that I and everyone else is equally special in God’s sight.