Bus Ride And Seats

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TheBus #3 stopped and opened its door for me.

I showed the driver my bus pass and hopped in.

That morning, all seats were taken. A few were already standing on the bus’ walkway.

It was past eight in the morning, and everyone was in a hurry. For those working downtown who were avoiding the parking cost like the plague, this meant cramped TheBus, the public bus transportation service on the island of Oahu.

Summer, however, offers a reprieve.

Kids are out of school and parents would usually go on a vacation too. So, commute during rush hour is not that bad.

Somehow, the packed bus that morning was a reminder that the summer is almost done.

I cozied up myself on a spot near the bus’ back door where a bar handle was available. In the case of sudden stops, the bar handle could be a great support.

The bus sped off.

It stopped and opened its door to the waiting commuters from one bus stop to another.

We were barely passed the freeway when the driver asked those in front to move back. A woman in a wheelchair needed the front seat area. Front seats are designated as priority seats for seniors and people with disabilities.

The frail old man and two elderly women with a cane stood up and moved back scouting for a seat at the back end of the bus, which was pretty much occupied.

The driver folded the chairs, and the lady in a wheelchair positioned herself securely on the emptied spot.

From where I was standing, I saw three seniors from the general passenger seat before the back door slowly standing up, giving way to the displaced more senior folks. And in no time, two relatively stronger-looking old men from the back end of the bus gave up their seats too, giving way to the seniors who had just given up their own seats.

It was 88°F high in Honolulu, and the display of kindness among the seniors made the atmosphere sunnier and warmer.

I was reminded of an activity in our class where in we were given a life-and-death scenario and a list of people to save given a limited space. The class decided to keep people based on their capacity to contribute to the survival of the group. In short, our immediate response to the crisis was utilitarian in nature. There is nothing inherently wrong about being utilitarian. However, utilitarian is not necessarily Christian. And it was a Christian Education class!

The contradiction was laughable, but it revealed the prevailing biases among us. We cater to the elimination of the weakest link, consciously or subconsciously.

And that day on the bus, the seniors showed me how it is to be among the weakest and deeply feel for the most vulnerable members of the society.

Jesus does not always make his presence felt in an ear-splitting, smoky announcement.

Sometimes, He whispers through fragile men and women, willing to accommodate the weakest among them.

 

“Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.” – Romans 15:1 NASB

 

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Photo Credit: Pmattes

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