ART & INSPIRATION BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©
What are your thoughts when you see a trail of trains cars, unmoved, contained? Is someone living in there? Is there any hope in a place like that?
When we lived in the city, there were countless container cars, sitting idly in the rail yards. In fact, when not in use, they’d be stacked in piles of four or more, to await being pulled into use again. It was kind of like looking at a huge city of vacant apartment buildings. Or were they?
Some folks are buying used container cars and repurposing them into places to live. I imagine them to be inhabited at times by the homeless, wayfarer, the hobo, the runaway. Imagine how it feels to live tucked away in a steel box just to stay warm for the night. Imagine what goes through the mind as you hear spray paint cans and disruptive voices surrounding you as you try to sleep.
Think of the possibilities. One or more of these inhabitants is running away from something. The average Joe wouldn’t think of doing this, but those without ties, without responsibility, without money or food wouldn’t think twice about it. When you’re running away – trying to hide – in a bad state emotionally, financially or spiritually – you need more than a cardboard box to survive.
There was a time in my life when the thought of living this way, was almost an actuality. Our world had caved in and there was nothing left. We’d lost our home, vehicles, bank accounts, income and we all our retirement savings and investments. During those dark years, we imagined living in the streets or riding the rails, or whatever homeless people do. We were ready though. Our lives of putting our faith in God’s direction is what kept us afloat.
As we left bankruptcy court with only a few dollars in our pocket, we knew that God had a plan for us. He provided an “angel” who sold us a house on a land contract, so we didn’t have to go through a credit report to achieve home ownership. We also had a number of good friends who prayed for us and provided encouragement.
My long time as a volunteer drama coach led to a job teaching acting to children – working with a children’s theater and eventually starting my own children’s theater company. My husband began wood sculpting for many other “angels” and that led to the start of his fine arts business.
There are times when we feel hopeless and helpless. Those are usually the moments we turn to God. When things are going well, we tend to coast and take our blessings for granted. I believe that these tests are all part of God’s greater plan for us. Trusting in His unchanging love and His beautiful blueprint for our lives will allow us to get through the tough times – but don’t forget to praise Him when things are going well for you, as well as during times of trouble.
My legacy doesn’t matter. It isn’t important that I be remembered. It’s important that when I stand before the Lord, he says, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ I want to finish strong.” James Dobson