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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Curiosity Killed the Cat (10/10/13)

TITLE: A Captive Audience
By Judith Gayle Smith


I have Fibromyalgia with its attendant Chronic Fatigue, so I do not drive. I've scheduled multiple rides for this week with a door-to-door service, Trimet Lift Services. I consider their lift bus my personal stretch limousine, filled with bright hope and promise.

There are myriad adventures to be had taking blurry jumping pictures from a rolling pothole-thunking bus. Leopard hat perched atop my head, I get many curious stares as I click madly away.

Our patient drivers sing, tell appropriate jokes, even accept warm hugs when winsomely cajoled.

They forcefully strap our power wheelchairs down, tightly belt us, hold us hostage - and love us.

When we're driven by fellow Bible-thumping Christians, conversation flows richly and our rolicking trip is too soon ended. I often sense that our Omnipotent God schedules our rides primarily for the opportunity to share Jesus with each other.

Sharing the Christ means telling others of their need for His salvation - that our sinful willful natures keep us from our Holy God Who cannot abide sin. Many cannot understand that our harmful thoughts as well as actions break God's Heart. He gives us His Ten Commandment Law to show us His Heart, His desire for our lives.

Most folk are far more willing to have me take their picture than timidly participate in a boisterous, rousing singing and mostoften quiet sharing of Scripture. Sadly expected and understood, yes, but so many missed opportunities to share our comforting faith .

We're uniquely individual, having shifting light and dark, doleful moods. Many quietly suffer, enduring unspeakably hungry needs. For most, these lift rides are their primary social network.

We mustn't choose favorites. Just try not to. One precious wee fellow, terribly contorted by Cerebral Palsy, repetitively shouts sharp incoherent phrases patiently, absolutely confident that we'll comprehend his excited joy riding the bus. He calls and grins to all who'll take the time to listen to and love him. Repeatedly pointing to his watch, he keeps our extremely patient driver on schedule. Bridging the river he sings out a high-pitched "wahter - wahter." And we too are excited, happily caught up in his infectious enthusiasm. Such a curious sweet dear . . .

It's easy to observe surface moods and attempt to adjust to others' needs physically, mentally and emotionally. Spiritually you often find their proverbial eggshells unbreakable. Reaching out, testing the ofttimes colorful emotional waters, cringing from the “intellectual's” rationale that argues against our compelling Creator.

The "old man" prefers his way of life. The "old man" definitely is not a curious cat that will seek that which will eventually kill him. Understandable, as did we all, once . . .

Suddenly it happens. I sit, taking hundreds of pictures of the exquisite Fall yellows, bronzes and reds, singing glorification to God - and a querolous question hesitantly whispers from an unexpected source: "Tell me about your Jesus, I want your joy." And I am gloriously infused with unbelievably heart-warming happiness.

With a bursting heart I share why I believe in Jesus, the Christ.

Curiosity and expectancy flavor our ride with His exquisite promise.

Scripture tells us to always be ready to give reason for the Hope that lies within us, enveloping us.

Telling folks about our forgiving loving Savior is like capturing His glorious rainbow to fill and brilliance our bus. This actually happened to my husband and me while moving to Portland in our little converted church bus thirty-odd years ago. What an incredible, unexpected blessing and encouragement from our precious Father.

I keep my trusty Bible in the back pocket of my motorized wheelchair. Sometimes I have the forethought to pack extra Bibles, and our benevolent Lord always finds someone to share them.

I've always been curious about people's needs, thoughts and opinions. I pray to always be prepared with open heart and mouth for the Holy Spirit to pour Himself out to others.

He has His reasons for our bus rides.

1 Peter 3:15
King James Version (KJV)
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Exodus 20:20
King James Version (KJV)
20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

KJV Exodus 20:1-17

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This article has been read 433 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Danielle King 10/18/13
This is a lovely, well written and touching entry. Your portrayal of the characters on the bus is realistic and I'm assuming that this is a true experience. Thanks for inviting us into a glimpse of your world.
lynn gipson 10/18/13
What a lovely, Christ filled adventure you portray. Your fellow bus riders sound like a group indeed brought together by God. As I've said before, your writing intrigues with its gentle warmth and oh so subtle humor.

I will read this one again, just to get that special feeling you convey with your words.

Blessings, Lynn
Allison Egley 10/18/13
I like this.

My suggestion, however, would be to focus on ONE encounter on the bus, and make a story out of it. I think you may have tried to cram too much into one story. It felt a bit... choppy, and I think any one of these encounters could be its own story.

Great job overall. I love the idea of thinking of the bus as a stretch limo. :)
Noel Mitaxa 10/19/13
I enjoyed the series of snapshots of the personalities on board your "limo," and for inviting us into your world. Thanks for sharing your journey.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/19/13
I so enjoyed this piece. I suffer from chronic pain and illness that leaves me homebound much of the time. I long for a bus ride such as yours. It was a pleasure to take that journey with you this afternoon. Thanks for sharing. :)
Virgil Youngblood 10/20/13
Your words warmed my heart. Thanks for sharing and taking me on a journey I needed to go on.
Ellen Carr 10/21/13
Thanks for sharing this story from your life and how you use the bus time to share your faith and enjoy time with the other passengers. Its authenticity shone through.
C D Swanson 10/21/13
I loved this. Having fibro myself I especially could relate. This was a highly descriptive piece that held my attention and I felt as if I was right there with you.

Excellent job. Thank you for sharing.

God bless~