She sat silently on the train just like everyone else.
Probably on her way to work, just like everyone else.
Dark haired, dark eyed, dark skinned and dark clothed-
Like she lived her life in the absence of light.
She arose, looked around at her fellow commuters, and spoke.
If you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior
You need to get to know Him today.
I'm here to tell you this morning that the Lord saves.
And because we are living in our last days
You need to know about how and why He is great.
He provides, he heals in a way no one person can do
He took me from strife, and healed my body - my life -
Saved me from AIDS - I said, full blown AIDS
When doctors said no more can be done.
When those who "knew" didn't know what to do
I got to know Him and He held me through!
His knowledge surpasses all human understanding
He is why you are here - He saved me
And has saved you in ways you don't even know.
You can't even see all that He is doing for you,
but He does what He does - He made you, He loves you
And all you have to do is get to know Him -
Get to know why He is so good!
He saved me - preserved my life - kept me here
to testify to you - to be a witness for you.
There's nothing greater in this world
Than knowledge of the Lord and His love!
As she spoke, a few commuters nodded - I suppose in agreement.
Other commuters acted as if she wasn't there.
As I listened I wondered just how
Someone who appeared so dark
came to know, to speak and to live in the Light.
© 2008 Patricia B.
What I wrote is a paraphrase of this woman's testimony, to which I was held captive with everyone else in the car this morning as I ran late to work. Train-ride evangelism is a common phenomenon in NYC subways - this morning wasn't the first time I was held captive to what someone had to say about God. This morning's testimony just was different to me. For one: she wasn't judgmental. Usually the people testifying are telling their captive audience that they are damned if they don't know God. Rarely do they share something about themselves to show just how God has worked in their lives - but even when they do - they tell their audience usually, if they don't know God, hell awaits them. She made absolutely no mention of being damned or doomed - she was just putting her faith out there. For two: her energy and her words shone so brightly - especially in comparison to her appearance. She was dressed in a hell of a lot of black and dark blue, but the woman, when she spoke, was pure radiance. It was like looking at a bright light shining out of a dark space. Lovely.
As I listened to her, I thought about the contrast between her appearance and her energy, and also thought "Wow, I have to write about this somehow and somewhere." And then I transferred from the 2 (the local) to the 4 (the express) at Franklin Ave. I didn't notice that she transferred with me, and after I sat down I heard the same words being said again. And then again, right before I got off the train. Regardless of what you may think of her beliefs, or this poem - it was meant to be written!
Oh, Happy National Poetry Month!