I was on a public bus last week in San Francisco. It took me thirty minutes to travel from one neighborhood to my destination. Along the way, I couldn’t help but notice…
I saw a man. Dressed in street clothes. Not dirty, but dusty on the feet from the city streets. He was urban. Wearing glasses. Nothing in his appearance stood out. The bus screeches to a stop. An old woman struggles to mount the stairs. He immediately jumps out of his seat and offers his arm to the woman who gratefully accepts. He ushers her to his old seat as the bus pulls off. He stands, grasping the bar railing to keep from falling.
At the next stop, the operator yells, “I need those benches for a wheelchair.” The middle-aged woman and 20-something guy stand. The 20-something rugged city kid pops the latches for the seats that incline them, heeding way for the automated wheelchair which was now being lifted onto the bus. We wait as the wheelchair occupant maneuvers into place and yells, “Ready”.
A woman drops her book. A child picks it up and hands it to her. A subtle smile escapes her as she says “Thank you”.
The bus pulls off noisily again. We all stare forward as if we can visualize the place we are headed. It was quiet.
I got a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven on this bus in San Francisco. Isn’t it as if we are all on a bus? Headed in the same direction. Helping others on along the way. We are tired from the city streets we came from. But we are all together now for one purpose. And its not about how bumpy the ride is, it is about how beautiful the destination.