We still do not know her name. As four of us traveled together on the train, we were for a short time bound together. On the morning after the memory is a fresh part of my prayer and reflection.
She had lost her job. While the opportunity for secretaries in London are good, the event was a raw trauma. In an effort to block the pain, she had spent the day with friends in a pub next to work. In her effort to fill every moment, she had played with her mobile telephone, chatted with friends, called her mum, and repeated the cycle with new participants for hours. At some point, she tried to call her boyfriend without success. Paranoia, the effect of too much beer, and insider knowledge overcame her revelry. Calling a friend who lived nearby, she asked him to check in on her absent friend.
As we first listened and then engaged, the story unfolded between frantic calls on the mobile, self-criticism and hair pulling, and tearful confession. Evidently, the friend was mildly depressed and had found out the same day he had lost his job as a printer. Finding no hope, a bottle of sleeping pills disappeared. The various calls were updates. They called to the paramedics, the ambulance was on the way, the paramedics and ambulance were at the house, and finally the ambulance and everyone was on their way to Kingston Hospital. Plans called for a taxi to rush her from the next train station to the hospital.
The story has no end. I have no idea how painful any of the sub-stories are. I do know that I did the only thing I knew to do, pray. The couple beside me assured and chatted; I clinched my eyes and poured out an intense series of demands that God override whatever was necessary to let the individuals involved know that he was there; with mercy, grace, and compassion.
“Insofar as there is peace and order, it's God's order.” (Romans 13.1) Without God, there is always turmoil and pain.