Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

February 24, 2012

Today’s Flashback — Feeling All Alone

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

(The number of readers of my blogs has surged. I am going to periodically provide “re-runs” as a convenience for those new readers who may be searching the archives.  I will refer to these “re-runs” as Today’s Flashback.)

In my blog, Fried Chicken, I wrote of an experience where I went deep into the jungle by way of train, dugout canoe, and walking.  There is much more to the story.  I pick up with the late afternoon, and my return to catch the train carrying bananas back to the docks in Limon.

I made my way back to the river and then by canoe to the tracks to await the train.  There was no town, but there were a couple of buildings.  One was a general store and the other a saloon.  This settlement, known as Penshurst, was not on the map.  It was ignored.  There was no civil authority.  There was no school.  The small populace lived there in isolation.

This, seemingly, forsaken place was known for violence.  Machete fights and killings were not uncommon.  Perhaps an anger prevailed because of a feeling of non-existence.  What little income could be earned came from working down the tracks on the banana plantations or attempting to grow the chocolate bean.

I was there on a Sunday.  The workers had the day off or at least had quit early, and now as the sun began to set, the people began to gather at the saloon.  It was simply a tin roof building with partial sides.  They congregated to relax.  The music was loud, dancing rather seductive, and the smell of the booze drifted beyond the walls.

I walked past the saloon toward the general store which was closed.  I felt more secure being away from the atmosphere that prevailed where the people gathered.  As I walked pass, I could feel the stares and murmurings.  I knew I was in a place that I did not need to be as the sun set.  The train was late, and I began to assess my situation.  I determined to stay in the shadows.  Above all, I began to repeat a verse that was part of my confidence.  “He that is within me is greater than the one that is in the world.”  (1 John 4:4)

Darkness set in.  The music got louder, and I truly became apprehensive.  A couple walked down the tracks laughing together.  They looked over and spotted me.  They exchanged words, laughed, and walked on.  I knew they were commenting about this gringo.  I watched as they entered the saloon.  I was sure they would share with others of my presence.

I will confess that I was feeling alone and frightened.  Natural, I would say.  But I was forgetting for a moment that God’s people are never alone.  He is always there.  I know that my thoughts were focused on God’s presence and my dependence on Him.  My contemplation was broken by a change in the sound at the saloon.  The music softened.  I heard words of greeting between individuals.  The atmosphere changed.  Then as I looked toward the saloon, walking down the tracks toward me was a very large man.  As he approached, I stepped out to greet him.  It was my friend that I had spent the day with.  He had not heard the train whistle and became concerned.  He had come to check on me.  God did answer a prayer.  I was not alone!  For me, this was God’s angel that He had sent.

My friend stayed with me until the train came.  I boarded and went back to the city to catch another train the following morning to San Jose to return to my family.  I will always remember the feeling within me as I stood in the shadows that evening.  Many of you know times of feeling all alone.  It is not a desired feeling.  But please remember that you are not alone!  Your God is with you.  Depend upon Him in all circumstances.  He is our Protector and Provider.  Give Him thanks for His marvelous promise to keep watch over us.

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go . . . .”  (Genesis 28:15)



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