When I was a child, our family lived fairly close to a train track. Passenger trains hurried north or south along the route several times a day. Coach cars followed the baggage car coupled just behind the locomotive. When a train had to wait on the siding for an oncoming freight or to take on water for the locomotive, the chefs in the dining car would often toss us a nibble of food or even talk with us!
Exciting as that was, there still was nothing as memorable as watching the determined, rumbling freight trains. We children would run down to the tracks the moment we heard a train whistle to count the cars as they rolled past. What an array: tankers, refrigerator and box cars, flat beds, gondolas, cattle cars, hoppers! Sometimes there were a hundred cars on one train. And, always trailing at the end was the caboose!
Atop the caboose in a small cupola with windows on all sides sat a man stationed to keep his eye on the train from behind. Usually he waved down to us and we waved back. He made our day!
Of all the cars on a freight, cabooses were the most intriguing! Freight cars were dressed in rather drab, unimaginative colors, but not the caboose. It always wore a bright, shiny red coat!
Though freight trains ran in both directions, I figured that those headed south came from the northern part of the state where my grandparents lived. Therefore, I was convinced my grandfather was the reason those cabooses were red!
My pride knew no limits! I told my friends my grandpa was the hero who wielded the paint brush! As far as I can remember, they believed me! I never saw him do it. I just believed he did. And the cabooses were always red!
For the moment, I rejoiced! Of course, when my mother heard my tale, she rained on my parade and I had to face reality. But this many years later, I still recall my elation with a smile.
Oh, that my adult heart would as easily believe that God does the things He says He will do! He says we "do not have" because we do not really believe He's possible. Yet, a child believes, and that faith pleases God.
Sometimes a child believes preposterous things like why cabooses are red, and in itself that may not be commendable. What is commendable is that a child believes simply and completely without even considering doubt! God says that unless we become like a child, we cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven.
So, who paints your cabooses?