So remember how yesterday I said that I read a book over the weekend? The book is called Heaven is for Real and fate must have had some weird place in this somewhere. Some teachers and I were talking about this book and how they all loved it and how I really should read it in my free time. Free time? Yes, well mine's pretty much non-existent right now, so I was like ok I will when I have time. So I kept the title in mind.
Friday night came along and my train was an hour and a half late. Yep. I was sitting at the train station for what seemed like forever, in the dry Central Illinois heat. Turns out that train tracks retain heat and when they get too hot, they move outwards. Trains can only go at about 45 mph when it's that hot because if they go any faster, they won't stay on the tracks. Anyway, when I finally boarded my train to Chicago, I found a seat next to an older gentleman. Once I sat down, he started talking about how long he'd been on the train and we exchanged pleasantries and he asked me a little bit about myself.
Granted, I'd never met this man before. He was a complete stranger. We were both excited though since we were both headed to see family. But I needed something to pass the time before getting there, so I took out a book to read trying to plan lessons for the next week. All of the sudden, the man says, "Do you read religious books?" I said that I like reading lots of different books and that I like the bible. He says, quite sincerely, "I got this book today from a friend and you look like you need it right now. I'd like you to have it." I have to say that I was shocked. A complete stranger was giving me this NY Times Best Selling Book that he hadn't even read yet. I was overwhelmed, and tired, but of course said yes. He was pretty happy to see me accept it, so I started reading it.
If you haven't read this book yet, I recommend it. It's such a quick read about a family whose son has to be hospitalized for a terrible illness. While the boy is in surgery, his father, who just happens to be a very religious pastor, is asking God why He has done this to his son. The father finds out that while his son was in surgery, he had taken a trip to heaven and back again, telling his dad that he had met Jesus while he was there. I don't want to give it away, but it is such a sweet, true story about his ordinary little boy who has had quite an extraordinary journey. So pick it up if it sounds interesting to you!
When the man's stop approached, I asked him if he wanted the book back, he said no. He instead said that I should pass it on to someone who feels like they needed it.
Ok, so I know to some this sounds like a creepy story. I assure you it's not! It was actually quite sweet. So I'm waiting with the book, seeing who I think will need it next. I mean this encounter was something straight out of a movie (which stuff like that never happens to me! trust me). Has anyone ever experienced kindness from a stranger like that? It's something I know I'll never forget.