This is a true story taken from the 1894 edition of “Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayer.” As you’ll see, this wonderful story seems to speak to adults as well as to children. It’s easy to see why Jesus urged the disciples to “Permit the little children to come to Me… (Luke 18:16)
The story has been altered in honor of Wendy’s cousin, Greg Sherve, Engineer for BNSF Railroad, who died unexpectedly a few days ago from a massive heart attack, massive stroke, and torn aorta at the young age of 60.
This story will be given to Greg’s grandson, Marcus. The link to the full, unaltered story is below:
The train was going west, and it was evening. At a station, a little boy who was young in age came aboard, carrying a little pillow under his arm. He came into the car and quickly took a seat. He then began to study each face, but all were strange to him. He appeared weary, and using his pillow, he laid down on the seat to try to get a little sleep.
Soon the conductor came along collecting tickets and fare. Observing him, the little boy asked if he could lie there. The gentle conductor replied that he could, and then kindly asked for his ticket. The little boy informed him that he didn’t have one, and the following conversation took place:
“Where are you going?” asked the conductor.
“I’m going to heaven,” the little boy answered.
“Who’s paying your fare?” the conductor questioned.
He said, “Mister, does this railroad lead to heaven, and does Jesus travel on it?”
“I don’t think so,” the conductor answered. “Why did you think that?”
“Why, sir, before my Grandpa died, he used to sing to me about a heavenly railroad, and you looked so nice and kind that I thought this was that railroad. My Grandpa used to sing about Jesus on the heavenly railroad, and that Jesus paid the fare for everybody, and that the train stopped at every station to take people on board. My Grandpa don’t sing to me anymore. Nobody sings to me now, and I thought I’d take the train and go see my Grandpa. Mister, do you sing to your little girl about the railroad that goes to heaven? You have a little girl, don’t you?”
With tears in his eyes, the conductor replied, “No, dear child, I have no little girl now. I had one once, but she died some time ago and went to heaven.”
“Did she get there on this railroad, and are you going to see her now?” the little boy inquired.
Addressing himself once more to the conductor, he asked him, “Do you love Jesus? I do, and if you love Him, He will let you ride to heaven on His railroad. I’m going there, and I wish you would go with me. I know Jesus will let me into heaven when I get there, and He will let you in too and everybody that will ride on His railroad – yes, all these people. Wouldn’t you like to see heaven, and Jesus, and your little girl?”
These words, so innocently uttered, brought a great gush of tears from all who were on that train, but most profusely from the eyes of the conductor.
The little boy now asked the conductor, “Mister, may I lie here until we get to heaven?”
“Yes, little one, yes,” he answered.
“Will you wake me up when we get there so that I can see my Grandpa, and your little girl, and Jesus?” he asked. “I so much want to see them all.”
The conductor’s answer came in broken phrases, but in words very tenderly spoken, “Yes, little angel, yes. God bless you.”
Turning his eyes once more upon the conductor, he questioned him again, “What should I tell your little girl when I see her? Should I tell her that I saw her daddy on Jesus’ railroad? Should I?”
This brought a fresh flood of tears from all present, and the conductor knelt by the little boy’s side and, embracing him, wept the reply he could not utter. At this point the brakeman called out the name of another station… (To read the ‘unaltered’ story Click here).
While so many hearts are sad because my cousin Greg is gone, I believe he was a brave engineer and took that Railroad to Heaven. Now that Greg is there…
🎶 he has met the superintendent, God the Father, God the Son. And with a hearty joyous greeting, Jesus said, weary pilgrim, welcome home. 🎶
Life is like a mountain railway with an engineer that’s brave. We must make the run successful from the cradle to the grave.
Watch for curves and hills and valleys. Never falter, never fail. Keep your hand upon the throttle and your eye upon the rail.