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God on a Bus

August 30, 2005

I met “Patty” at the bus stop. I noticed her because she always wears such colorful clothes, bright pinks and purples. She is a pretty lady, probably in her forties. We started talking one day, she found out where I worked and asked what exhibits were being displayed at the museum. At the time we had “Stubbs and the Horse.” I told her about it and the next time I met her, some weeks later, she mentioned she’d seen and enjoyed it.

I noticed Patty read the Bible on the bus. Eventually we started talking about where we went to church. She talked about the Bible study she hosts in her home. The next time we met we talked about dating and her struggles with a guy who shows interest in her but a lack of desire to define the relationship. So all in all, we’d had about three conversations and most were rather quick, while we were waiting for the bus.

One day I got on the bus and Patty was already seated, having caught the bus at the stop before mine that morning. So I sat in the seat in front of her and we started talking. We again started talking about Patty’s Bible study and she mentioned how she was convicted by God’s word about her speech after talking with her son the night before. Out of politeness I asked about her son and suddenly she started crying.

“Well, if you think about it, you could pray for my son,” she said, eyes overflowing with tears. I started fishing around in my bag until I found a tissue to hand her. She went on to explain the difficult decisions she had to make as a single, divorced mother about her son. She had to make the choice not to support her son–who’s a grown young man–anymore and watch him hit rock bottom due to some wrong choices he’d made.

“It’s so hard to stand back and watch your child make wrong decisions when you know they know better,” she said. “I feel so helpless to help him, and then I just get so angry, but I know I have to just let it go and let him go through this.”

Never before did I feel such a prompting by the Holy Spirit that it was almost an audible urging: “Pray for her.” But immediately my flesh shrank back. What would people think, that I was a lunatic on the bus? What about my co-work across the aisle? I knew if I was at church alone with her I wouldn’t hesitate to pray with her. Was I such a coward? I felt a fight inside of me. But I had to ask.

“Can I pray for you right now?” I said quickly, it was such a simple thing to ask.

“Yes!” she said eagerly.

I took her hand and prayed for her to be able to trust God with her son and that He would continue to give her wisdom and strength. In that moment, I could almost feel God with us, right there in the bus.

The whole day I was thankful I was obedient in such a tiny way. It built my faith and gave me a small amount of courage. I have been convicted in recent months to be more “real” with my life, and thus my faith, with those who are around me. This was just a tiny step in that direction with someone that though I hardly know, but is still apart of my spiritual family. I’ve seen Patty a few times since then but have been unable to have a conversation with her. If you think of it, please pray for Patty and her son.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2005 8:20 am

    Danielle,
    That is awesome!! Thanks for sharing that with us; it builds our faith to step out in what seem small ways but are really HUGE leaps of faith. You are living an authentic life before the Lord and others, and I am so encouraged today to do the same!!

  2. August 30, 2005 9:56 pm

    Danielle, I was holding my breath to read whether you were actually going to obey God’s prompting and pray for “”Patty” right there on the bus. I was SOOOOO glad to read that you did! I also was half expecting others to draw close and ask for prayer, like some did with Marilyn at the airport! My kids were out at THe Avenue with a bunch of teens the last two Fridays, going around striking up spiritual conversations with other teens–strangers!. They are amazed at how eager (not just tolerant) people are to talk about God, faith, life after death, inner peace, etc. Thanks for keepin’ in step with the Spirit!

  3. August 30, 2005 10:13 pm

    I hate to ask, but what is that a picture of (on this post)? Even when I enlarge it , I can make heads or tails of it.

  4. August 31, 2005 9:10 am

    That’s ok that you had to ask about the picture. It’s supposed to be rather abstract. It’s the headlight of a huge truck (not unlike a bus headlight, get the connection, haha!)I was inspired by Cupcakes on Monday’s blog where she posts her photography, and decided to start posting some of mine. Don’t worry if you have to ask! Most of mine are black and white, so if small, like on the blog, might be hard to see, depending on one’s monitor. On one of my computers it looks really dark, on another the contrast is fine, so one never knows for sure!

  5. August 31, 2005 10:52 am

    Cupcakes on a Monday has inspired me to do extreme close-ups. I know I can’t capture the feel of baby soft skin or the whisper of butterfly wings as they flutter above a purple bloom, but I am sure gonna journal that next to my extreme close ups.
    Keep posting your photography. How do you put photos on the blog?

  6. August 31, 2005 3:48 pm

    That’s wonderful Danielle. Thanks for your example of stepping out in faith and caring for this woman!

  7. September 3, 2005 10:20 pm

    Danielle thank you! Thank you for reaching out in such a simple way, mimicking our Savior. You continue to be an example in my life!

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