Amusement Park: Train Ride
The sudden DING-DING-DINGs of an approaching train caused Amalia to pause in licking off the last of the sweet sticky residue from the now empty cotton candy cone. A train ride! The perfect thing after a sweet treat. She turned to Jesus, who was watching her with amusement.
“Let’s go ride the train next!” she said, pointing towards the train station about fifty yards away. “I wonder how far it goes.”
“I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Train rides can be very… interesting.”
Amalia raised her eyebrows at Jesus. “Do You know something I don’t?”
“I know a lot of things that you don’t” He laughed. “In this case, let’s just get on and see what happens.”
They walked the short distance and got to the station just as the train pulled in. They climbed into the last car, the one that usually provides the greatest view, and buckled in.
“Why the seat belt?” Amalia said as she heard the click of the secured belt. “This is a slow, easy ride. We don’t need seat belts for that.”
“It’s always good to be prepared,” was all Jesus said.
The train started off, blasting it’s warning horn as it left the station. There weren’t many people on the train, so Amalia had a great view of the amusement park as they passed several rides. Then they went through a gate, and everything changed.
Amalia was speechless. She had seen this done on TV but never in real life. How was this even possible? It was like looking at a black and white movie. All the color was gone. Even the sunlight. Everything was dark and dingy. The trees, grass, flowers, clouds – even the train and everything on it that she could see, including herself, were shades of blacks and grays. She turned to Jesus, and was startled to see that He was still the bright, colorful Jesus He had always been.
“Watch. This is one of my favorite rides.”
Confused, she watched the dreary landscape with dismay. There nothing beautiful here, but there was potential. She could see the many flowers and imagine how colorful they could be.
Suddenly everything went dark as they entered a tunnel. Amalia reached for Jesus’ hand. She felt a little foolish, because she knew He was there, but His quick reassuring squeeze comforted her. In just a few minutes they exited the tunnel into the dark world. But wait, was it her imagination? Or did it seem a bit brighter on this side of the tunnel? She continued watching.
Yes! She was right – it was getting brighter. She could just barely make out the first hint of a color other than gray. The sky was now gray-blue. Compared to a few minutes ago, it looked beautiful. She gazed at it with joy, then noticed the leaves, flowers, and grass were beginning to show some color. It was very faint, but it was definitely there.
“Do you see that, Jesus? Look how pretty everything is getting now that the color is returning? There’s not much, yet, but I know more will come.”
“So, are you seeing past what things look like right now, and looking instead to what they can be?”
“No, I’m seeing them as they are, not as they were. But I’m also anticipating what they can be.”
“Well said. Keep watching.”
The train went around a curve, and now Amalia could now easily see different colors. Most of the gray had been replaced with soft colors. She looked all around with wonder. If a hint of color was beautiful, this was spectacular! She enjoyed looking for as many colors as she could, which wasn’t easy since their light shades tended to blend into each other. She was so busy counting off the colors, that she didn’t notice the overhanging trees until they were underneath them. Then all she could see were branches and leaves. It was like being buried, in a way.
A few mintues later, they emerged into the sunshine. Sunshine? Yes, the sky appeared much brighter now, and the light brought out more colors throughout the landscape. Amalia sat back, stunned at the difference the light made.
As the train continued along its track, weaving between forests and fields, the landscape continued to grow brighter with each curve, until it was so bright everything seemed to glow as if each was lit from within. Unbidden tears fell as Amalia turned to Jesus.
“This is incredible. I can’t take it all in, it’s too beautiful.”
“This is how I see you,” He whispered as He held her close. “You were once dark, like the dreary landscape we started in. But as you traveled with me along the path I set for you, you were transformed by My light into one level of beauty to the next. Just as you delighted in each stage of the landscape’s transformation, I delight in each level you become. And you’re not finished yet. The best is yet to come.”
Amalia had no more words. She let His words soak into her as the train pulled up to the station. This ride had been incredible. More incredible than any other ride so far. Jesus had said it was His favorite. She thought maybe it had become her favorite, too.
What do you think of this Amusement Park series? Should Amalia and Jesus continue to ride? Or should I move on to something else? Please leave me a comment below. Thanks!
2 Cor 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is Spirit.