TITLE: Hart & Soul, Part I: Mystery Train
By RENEE GREENE
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Intro: The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ was so phenomenal that it spun time around and sent it careening forward. From BC to AD, some people claim Jesus' life was nothing more than significant than that of any old prophet...but His life is the only one by which every creature on the planet marks calendar time.
When and where I enter is approximately 1,959 years from the date of His time on the earth. People like to say, as time goes on, that we are "getting old," but if 1,000 years is like a day to the Lord, then I haven't been alive more than one hour and 30 seconds.
At the age of four or five, I began having night visions about trains. Trains that would dump me off in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, at least no place I recognized. I would be forced on and off that train by some unforeseen "push" against my will. For every night that I dreamt this nightmare, I would be dropped off in the exact same spot under a starless, moonless night with nothing surrounding me except the pit black of night.
A little girl, frightened, standing in the middle of railroad tracks at night, alone. There were only a couple or three things I found odd about this train. It made not a sound except for the squeal of metal grating on metal as it came to a halt after the short and worrisome journey; that, and the fact that I was never dropped off at a depot, but in the middle of the tracks; and lastly, the ominous oil lamp glowing from the back of a caboose with peeling red paint and green mold that swayed, not because there was a wind, but because the train was moving again--without me inside. I wanted desperately to go home, but the lights would go out inside the train and it would pull off slowly into the tunnel of darkness just ahead. I would stand there, wondering what would become of me before I woke up. It was always then that I woke up in a cold sweat with belabored breathing, hoping I would not have to experience this vision another night. I never figured out what it meant, if anything at all.
Tresa would always tell me to go back to sleep and take control of it, but even as a small child, I knew I couldn't control the inevitable. I screamed "No!," time and again, but still I would be led off the train by an invisible force and left there. It didn't seem to matter what I wanted as I watched it disappear into the night, around the bend. I often wondered what would become of me after I was abandoned on the tracks, but the vision would stop just as suddenly as it began. I never figured out how my older sister could take such control over her dreams and I couldn't.
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