THE FINAL TRAIN RIDE
A lifetime passes suddenly
We blink into eternity
As sadness, heartache, toil and care
Evaporate in blissful air.
And there she stands in such a throng
The rush of peace and noise of song
As people dressed in white and gold
Are gathered now into the fold.
She beckons one who seems to know
And asks how much to board and go
He smiles until the noises fade
And tells her that the ticket’s paid.
And as the steam comes hissing out
She hears a great and glorious shout
As passengers climb to take their seat
With eager hands and searching feet.
She whispers, ‘How will I get back?
There’s just one line and just one track?’
The porter cries, ‘Don’t sigh or fuss
This journey has one terminus.
‘No need for luggage, money, fare
It’s all been sorted, no despair!
For when you reach the other side
You’ll find his arms are open wide.’
She heard the engine strain and toil
The air was full of smoke and oil
And yet it seemed around the place
The sweetest scent of love and grace.
The train pulled out to wing its flight
The station soon slipped out of sight
Through fields of silver, pure as silk
And fragrant flowers as white as milk.
The carriage rocked in harmony
With voices raised in joyful glee
The whistle shrieked in loud acclaim
As all began to praise His name.
And in her joy she had to bring
Her offering to the Saviour King
The sweet notes of the flute she played
And there upon the altar laid.
The scenes of love had spirits high
But then the engine reached the sky
And no way they could bridge the gap
The train would surely tumble back!
Yet straight ahead the cheers rang loud
For there projecting from a cloud
A cross of wood had made a way
The train sped on without delay.
And so she cried, with tears like myrrh
To know the price He paid for her
To get across the great divide
His life was slain and crucified.
But here at last she looked ahead
And no more worry, no more dread
Instead, a city all divine
And straight in front, a station sign.
The sign was shaped just like a crown
And as the signal pointed down
She read the words that thrilled her soul
‘The Son of God has made you whole’.
The snorting engine stopped the ride
And carriage doors flew open wide
And loved ones mingled, tears were past
For death was conquered, home at last.
And so she stood, as through the smoke
She heard a voice as someone spoke
And surely there was no surprise
And yet it caused her heart to rise.
For on the shining platform place
He sat there beaming, oil on face
And in his hand a spanner wrench
And other tools across the bench.
‘I wondered when you’d come to me’
He whispered very tenderly
And taking her to his embrace
She gazed into his gentle face.
‘I knew my child would soon arrive’
‘Dear father, but I’m ninety-five!’
He laughed and smiled from ear to ear
‘My darling, there is no time here’.
‘No cares, no woe, no pain, no strife
Just everlasting peace and life
For here’s the place where loved ones greet
And celebrate the chance to meet.
‘But father, dear, your grubby clothes
And oil-stained hands and eyes and nose
I thought you’d all be moving slow
With angel harps and eyes aglow!’
He squeezed her tight as starlight fell
‘There’s work to do up here as well.
We can’t just float around with wings
We have to serve the King of kings.’
‘They stepped into the living dream
Of gleaming rails and hissing steam
To be together evermore
And take the train to heaven’s door.
To be united now, as planned
And celebrate the Promised Land
To serve the Master all their days
And work with joy and prayer and praise.
And so my friend I urge and plead
You make a move and get up speed
Don’t miss His offer or His call
The Final Train Ride comes to all.
Written for a friend whose father died when she was a teenager. The father was a steam train enthusiast.