Today I was on the lookout, just waiting to see where I could find Jesus. After yesterday’s fail, I was ready to jump in and do something to prove I’m not just all talk. I spent most of the day working at home, but was actively watching while I was out and about – particularly this afternoon when I was on my way to get my youngest daughter Kaitlyn from school and take her to climbing club.
Turns out the encounter with Jesus that stands out most to me today was not a chance for me to serve him, but the other way around. I found him on the bus, riding public transit.
Kaitlyn has difficult days at school sometimes (I think most MKs do), and during the walk from the school to the bus stop, I gathered from our conversation that today was one of those days. Today’s problems were just like the problems she had last week, and I found myself frustrated that she didn’t seem to care. I wasn’t angry or hurtful to her, but I felt disappointed and was working on ways to “fix” what was wrong. That’s a Daddy’s job, right? To fix things?
When we got on the bus, I was surprised as an older lady smiled broadly at Kaitlyn and spoke sweetly to both of us. Most city folks here keep to themselves, so interactions with strangers are rare. But some Slovaks hold special places in their hearts for children, and it just shows on their faces. Like this old woman’s face, that shone with love. Just a few minutes later as we were getting off the bus, another lady beamed at Kaitlyn and stroked her hair – not a word spoken, but a face full of love.
Later, in my imagination I would go back to those times the Gospels tell about what Jesus was like around children. He didn’t try to “fix” them… in fact he chided his disciples for trying to shush them (Luke 18:15 ff). Instead he welcomed them, and frequently told his followers they needed to be more like them! I’m only imagining this, of course, but I wonder if Jesus didn’t hold that special place in his heart for children like those two ladies did tonight.
Now I realize what a difference these interactions made for me. I found myself responding differently to Kaitlyn – with love and joy, instead of frustration and attempts to fix. We had a few silly moments, laughing together, and we still talked about the bad parts of the day, but I was able to listen to her instead of just thinking about how to solve the problems.
I saw Jesus today on the bus. If you ride public transit, keep your eyes open – you might see him too.