We have been a one vehicle family for the past three years and it has worked out well because until this past March, my wife and I have worked at the same location. But now we are needing to go here or there at the same time and it is causing us to use alternative forms of commuting. I have been given the opportunity to ride the city bus a few times lately, at least until it is warm enough for me to ride my bike. But these bus rides have been more to me than just a means of transportation. They have turned into precious conversations and a look into a part of my city that I need to connect with more.
One of my recent rides had given me three amazing conversations. The first was due to the fact that I was short $.15 and a wonderful lady at my bus stop gave me the money to save myself the embarrassment of asking the driver for it. This simple act of kindness led to an amazing conversation about her son and daughter that she loves so much. Her son was recently laid off and she was worried about him finding a new job. “He is a good boy and doesn’t do any drugs…well except marijuana, but everyone does that a little” is what she told me. Her dedication to her grown children and her story connected with me that afternoon and I hope to run into her again soon to further our friendship.
The second two conversations similarly revolved around people being laid off of their jobs. Sweet people, trying their best to make ends meet. I was finally putting fresh faces to the economic crisis that we are currently experiencing here in America. It is so easy to live our lives in a bubble and forget that real people are being affected by these layoffs. That people with families and feelings are having to ask themselves hard questions regarding what to do next. All three of my conversations on the bus that day revolved around people loosing their jobs. But now I have faces, names and stories to keep before me in my thoughts and prayers.
So my bus lesson was the importance of being out with our neighbors having the real conversations that will help us look out for each other. Conversations that will draw us closer a communities. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. (Rom 12:15 NLT). My new goal for myself is two make sure that sometime each month I am getting out in the community and speaking with people who are in situations worse than mine. It is too easy to forget what is happening to people around us. If I don’t have a name and a face to associate with problems that are facing our cities and country, these issues will not be real to me. I will be useless in helping bring them to an end. But having this interaction causes me to want to put action to my fellings; “What can I do to help those who are hurting?” I want to end by saying a big thank you to all the people who generously let me be a part of their lifes, even if it is a simple conversation on the bus.