Despite my efforts, there have been days in my years of being a Christian, where I wasn’t as close to God as I would have liked to have been. Not exactly a deliberate rebellion, just a passive straying, from time to time. (Does that really make it any better though?) Such as the case when I travelled two months in Europe. Surely God was there, but I kept him packed up in a little box, and tucked away into a back corner of my mind, for when I would really need him. But otherwise, this trip was for my enjoyment; to enjoy being young, being free.
However, when there came a time that my heart quickened, my mind started racing, and those little red flags started popping up, who then did I turn to?~~~~~~~~
Here we are, two young Canadian girls in the foreign country of Poland, pacing the train station carrying a large Canadian flag. We were waiting for a gentleman who would pick us up and drive us over to the Auschwitz tour that we had booked online. The Canadian flag was so that he could pick us out from the crowd. (‘Cause of course, we didn’t already look out-of-place!)
An hour passed. No ride. My friend is having little luck contacting the tour company.
A not so restful night on one of the last cars of our jerky train may have been a contributing factor to the jumble of thoughts now occupying my mind.
We booked online…
We paid online…
We are totally being screwed over.
The attempted phone calls continue for a time, as do my doubts, until finally, she gets through. Our supposed ride is where we are, but cannot find us, we are informed.
The ball of yarn continues to unravel, as we endure painful minutes of more miscommunication. To the extent that this “tour company”, ( I was still suspicious of its legitimacy) had contacted the number we left upon booking the tour.
(My friend’s folks’ home number. Thousands of miles away. In a whole other time zone. Oh dear.)
Finally, a man approaches us – perhaps in his late 30s – and in his very limited English, manages to communicate to us that he is with the tour group. And we follow him out of the train station…
…Across the center, a short way down the street. And there is a plain white van parked at the side. No writing. Tinted windows. We climb inside, then quickly depart.Flag ThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTen…
Despite my earlier suspicions, it had not occurred to me NOT to get inside that van.
Have Hollywood movies not taught us anything???
Perhaps it was then, I realized what real anxiety was. My gut knotted over and over again, and I was nauseous at the idea that we may have walked all too casually into our death beds. We followed so blindly. I don’t even remember where in the van we sat, just that, upon entering it, my mind didn’t cease in its repetitive prayer.
God, please let us be okay. Please don’t let us die. Please keep us safe. Keep us from harm. Please get us to the tour safely. Please protect us God.
I stared out the window, wondering if we had just done the stupidest thing in our lives, with entering this unmarked, travelling trap. I nearly pleaded with God for my life. And while doing so, did not utter a word to my friend.
Though our driver did not appear threatening, I knew that looks could be deceiving. Who knows where he could be taking us? I didn’t have time to theorize about such things however, what with pleading for my life, and all.
And then the van stopped. My curiosity peaked.
The driver leaves briefly, then returns with two more people; an Irish man and his teen son.
And for some reason, it was then a wave of relief flooded over me.
At least we were no longer alone.
And, it turned out the tour company wasn’t a fraud.
And, as you may have suspected, we made it both to and from our tour destination A-Okay.
My fear revealed where my hope and trust lie, should times become desperate. It’s not always easy to trust him whose face we don’t see. I try to turn to God when I hurt, when I’ve had a bad day, a bad dream, etc.
It’s easier to cling to something when we are desperate.
However, I’m guilty of not thanking God enough on the days that are good. The days that are blessed. For life in general
I should be praying – talking – to him diligently everyday.