In 1981 I lived in the Seattle area, and I decided to get involved in the train museum in Snoqualmie, Washington. I figured I would get out there early, while they were firing up their steam locomotive, and help somehow. There’s usually plenty to do on a steam locomotive, so I figured they would have me wipe grease off the siderods or something.


By the time I finally got there, it was about an hour before they were ready to move the locomotive. I climbed up into the cab where there was a group of guys standing and making railfan conversation. I said I realized I got there pretty late but was there anything I could do to help.  One of them said “No, we did everything already.”

I climbed down out of the cab and sat on a stack of ties. The locomotive was sitting there with steam coming out and with grease and dirt all over the siderods and drivers. I got tears in my eyes.


Just then, someone was moving a little diesel locomotive on a track on the other side of the stack of ties. The engineer, leaning out the window, stopped next to me and said, “Get up here!”


The engineer’s name was Steve. I rode with him while he switched some cars, and got down and helped couple and uncouple. I didn’t know the hand signals, but somehow that was OK. I was part of the crew.


I spent a lot of time at that railroad museum the few years after that. Steve was always kind and helpful, and was always interested in what I was up to. I was out there almost every weekend through 1985, when I moved to Portland.


Now, when I imagine hanging out with Jesus, He seems a lot like Steve. Jesus is always kind and helpful, and is always interested in what I am up to. He’s always glad to see me, and He looks a whole lot like Steve. 

— Charles T