Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: JAM (02/09/17)
- TITLE: No Jam in Heaven
By Lois Farrow
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We had been on the fourth level underground below bustling Tokyo streets when the earthquake happened. All that remained of our five-day visit was our two-hour train trip to Narita airport for a quiet night before an early morning flight out of the country.
Frequent announcements after the earthquake were unintelligible to us, so we were grateful for the company of our five Japanese friends. We agreed that underground was better than on the 41st floor of a nearby building where we had enjoyed a delicious farewell lunch an hour before. News coming through indicated no damage in the city and no fatalities, but the train network needed to be checked before trains could resume.
Perched on our suitcases we waited in uncertainty. Perhaps the buses were running? We queued for refunds of our train tickets, and joined the crowd outside in the fresh air to jostle for a taxi. Only two of our friends could fit with us and we began to crawl towards the bus station. The driver heard that buses were not running, so we diverted to Ueno station.
The jostling crowd on the platform was unreal as it ebbed and flowed, queues forming and breaking apart. A train arrived and our friends urged us to get on, while passengers already on board reached out for us. I couldn’t see an inch of space. As I hesitated twelve others squashed aboard, people pulling and pushing to jam them on.
I thought we’d wait till the rush was past, but our friend knew better.
“It won’t get quieter, it will get worse,” she told us. “We have to get the next one.” We stayed close and made our plan. They would get on with us to help with our luggage, then get out at the next station and we would carry on alone.
Our train came and as we squashed on I found I could push and shove with the rest of them. Our plan of staying together was in tatters as we got shoved along the carriage. I felt my arm would break as I struggled to hold onto my suitcase so I let it go. My friend passed my hand luggage over the heads of intervening passengers before leaving at the first station. When the girls waved goodbye and jumped off we shed a little tear.
Half an hour after midnight we were finally in our hotel room. A warm, soothing bath relaxed us; raisins from my suitcase became dinner. We were able to snatch three hours sleep before our wakeup call.
It made me think of heaven where there will be countless multitudes but no jam, no fighting for space, no pushing or shoving, no grabbing one another to push or pull into a tight spot. God’s word says there will be people from every nation, tribe, people and language, an innumerable multitude. There will also be glorious angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand.
There will be room for everyone who is saved by the blood of the Lamb. As Jesus said, I have made a place for you.
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