I only managed to sleep for 4 hours before I had to get up in the middle of the night to catch another early morning flight. The gloomy, grey light that fell on the city did little to cheer me up. It was raining again (or maybe it never stopped) when I stepped outside to walk to the train station. In fact, the downpour was so heavy that I could almost swim in the puddles that had built up on the ground. Trying not to get lost in the darkness was hard enough in itself, but the rain made it significantly more challenging. I was relieved when I finally reached the station after a 10-minute walk that seemed endless.
However, my relief soon turned to anxiety when I was told that all the trains to the airport were cancelled due to the weather conditions. Apparently, weather-imposed disruptions on the network are everyday occurrences in Copenhagen. (These moments make me appreciate the transport system in London I’m usually so critical of.) I was advised to take the train to a large transport hub in the city centre and change to another train there. I began feeling slightly worried at that point, even though I still had plenty of time. Being prone to lateness, I always plan to arrive at the airport two hours before departure. So, there was no reason to freak out just yet. I had naively planned to get a relaxed breakfast after going through security, and now as I made calculations in my head (a rather painful activity at that time of day… I mean night), I maintained the hope that I would still have enough time for that.
I arrived at the transport hub and even successfully found the platform for my next train. The display informed me that it was due to arrive in 10 minutes. Excellent, I thought, quite a long wait, but everything is fine, there’s absolutely no need to panic. Then, all of a sudden, ominous yellow letters flashed up on the screen, telling us that the train was delayed by five minutes. I shrugged and returned to the book I was reading to pass the time (The Name of the Rose, in case you were wondering), struggling to fend off my mood of annoyance. The next time I looked at the screen, I discovered, to my horror, that the delay had increased to 10 minutes. Then 15. Then 20, until there was no hope of the train arriving in the foreseeable future. It was at that point that I first considered finding a cab, but I was reluctant, partly because of the exuberant prices and partly because it would have required me to leave the station and step out into the rain. At one point the yellow numbers disappeared, and I was flushed with hope. Maybe the train is finally coming! Then, all my hopes were shattered when the hateful yellow letters invaded the screen again, announcing a further 20 minutes of delays. I realised the impossibility of reaching the airport by train, so I braced myself and returned to the streets.
The transport chaos affected a significant number of people around me, many of whom huddled together by the entrance of the station. Many Danes themselves struggled to find a way home, and nobody knew what was going on. The roads, by contrast, were almost empty, and there were no taxis around that I could have hailed. But I managed to obtain the phone number of a taxi company, and I dialled immediately, putting all my hopes into this phone call. But the operator told me that all the cars they had were in use, and that there would be no available taxi for the next hour or so. Time was rapidly running out. I abandoned my dreams of breakfast, I just wanted to get to the airport with enough time to get through security and reach the departure gate. I silently prayed to God to help me.
Then, all of a sudden, I noticed a bus across the road with the name of the airport as its destination. I didn’t know whether it was about to leave or not, so I began running towards it. But there was no need to rush. The bus was already packed, as fellow tourists squeezed onto it in a desperate attempt to get to the airport on time. I had no chance of getting on, and could do nothing but watch the bus driving off into the distance. The next bus was to be expected in 20 minutes. I was counting the minutes feverishly. If I have to wait 20 minutes here, and the journey takes at least 40 minutes, would I have enough time to catch my fight? My answer to that question was “maybe”, pronounced with a faint tone of hope. But I could do nothing more. With no available cabs, the bus seemed my only chance of reaching the airport. Although, I must say, I didn’t understand why the buses could brave the weather, while the trains couldn’t.
And this is when God showed up and performed a miracle to help me. Even in the midst of all this confusion, deep down I knew that He wouldn’t leave me stranded in the piercing rain in a foreign city, and in the end my faith was justified. As I was waiting at the bus stop, a taxi appeared on the road out of nowhere. Two ladies flagged it immediately. I watched them with a sinking heart. How lucky they were, I thought, and decided to pay more attention to the streets in case another cab might pass by.
“We have one free space to the airport”, one of the ladies shouted towards the group of tourists standing at the bus stop. This was my golden moment, and I didn’t want to miss it. I jumped to the call within a moment, and soon I was on my way to the airport, arriving just in time to catch my flight to London. I was overwhelmed by feelings of gratefulness, joy and awe at God’s love and mercy. I had some moments when logic told me to stay on the platform and wait for the train, but now I could see that I was right in obeying His call to come up to the street. And while not getting a cab at the first attempt seemed like a disaster at the time, God had better plans for me. He didn’t want me to pay for the ride by myself, so He made sure I could share the cost with others. I knew all along that if I turned to Him and listened to His voice, He would help me, because His love for us is infinite, and His grace is way beyond my imagination. I could have left Copenhagen with a bitter taste after this adventure, but instead I will always remember it as the city where God performed a miracle for me.