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A Captive Audience
Judith Gayle Smith
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A Captive Audience
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.
Curiousity 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.
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