Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The People On The Bus

I have to take a 40 minute bus ride to get to church on Sunday. It's an interesting adventure. Most of the time I must stand the whole ride in a very crowded bus. Other times a young person will stand up and offer me a seat. You see this happen all the time, but maybe not as much as it use to. It's very refreshing to watch young men and young women stand up and give their bus seats to an elderly passenger who just got on the bus. I guess I don't look too elderly because it doesn't happen that often to me. Thank you very much.

Yesterday was an good bus ride. I got a rare seat for most of the ride. And I got to see some people who profoundly affected me.

First was a woman, probably in her late 50's or early 60's who looked like she worked hard for a living and had such a kind, accepting face with an unusual feature: a slight smile. This is rare enough on the bus and even rarer in China. You could almost see into her soul, and it was beautiful.

Then, an elderly couple got on, and, as luck would have it, there were two seats available right across from me. The gentleman had a full head of white hair and the humblest eyes that were generally in a downward glancing position, however he did look up and around enough to let me  look into his eyes. It struck me that this very gentle man had seen quite a lot of the horrific history and changes in China and it was reflected in his demeanor. His wife was with him and she seemed to be the go-to person in the relationship, albeit slow and deliberate. He was wearing an overcoat which seemed to protect him from the outside world. He face was not withered and worn, but quite smooth for someone his age. However,  his eyes were worn. He had obviously seen a lot, maybe too much of the human condition; and change had taken a toll on him.

My heart goes out to the good people of China. They're not all dog-eat-dog, king-o-the-hill, dodge ball aggressors. They seek a harmonious life. There was harmony in the faces of these fellow bus riders and I got to experience it

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