Several months ago, I had stayed late at church for something. Afterwards, I waited at the bus stop right in front of the church. Uncle saw me at the stop, called home to talk to Aunty, and I stayed unexpectedly at their house for the night.
I also got a sideways lecture from Aunty about taking the bus. Some of the points that I remember was that I need to learn to drive because this taking the bus by myself is not safe; that if I were her daughter, I would not be taking the bus; and if something were to have happened to me, the pastor would feel responsible as I was leaving a church function.
I can’t fault her much ‘cuz I know she’s only thinking of my safety.
I have continued to take the bus.
I do not like to drive. I can drive and I think I’m a rather safe driver, but I don’t like to. I doubt that I will ever like driving. Traffic. Unsafe drivers. Parking. Paying for parking. Thieves. Gas prices. Having enough gas in the tank. Debris on the road. Getting a flat. Heavy rains. At times, just the sight of a piece of a blown-out tire can freak me out.
One is never completely safe. Anything could happen to me at anytime, anywhere, in any manner of ways. However, I do take some comfort in knowing that God watches over me. Not that God will place a bubble of protection around me, but I remind myself that no matter what may happen to me, He is there to hold my hand, to comfort me through anything. I think about the people who HAVE TO take the bus to get through their lives and those who do not know God’s comfort. I don’t see my life as any more valuable than theirs that I should have a car to get around. Having a car is a privilege that I choose not to use. [Well, the car doesn’t even belong to me; I just have use of one if I ask].
That isn’t to say that I do not value my life or that I’m cavalier about traveling alone because “I’ve got God.” I am as vigilant about my safety as I can be at any given moment. I remain aware of my surroundings, look over my shoulder every 5 seconds like the crazy person that I am and sport a polite smile while trusting no one. I rarely sleep on the bus and try to sit next to another female if possible. [All the while, I do try to keep open to opportunities to share God with others].
And don’t think that my parents don’t care about my safety that they make me ride the bus. It worries my parents a great deal when they know I am out on my own, even if I am driving the car. They understand my reasons though. They also understand that they can’t be with me at every single moment.
Should something happen to me as I travel by bus, please remind me that God will not allow more than I can handle, that He is with me even now. I might forget for a moment but not for a lifetime. Do not in any way feel responsible should something bad happen to me, do not place me in a bubble; God is in control and at work in my life.
And I thank all my friends who have looked after my safety in travels as well. Thank you for waiting at the stop with me. Thank you for the rides. Thank you for all the prayers. I have traveled dangerous areas by foot and by bus, by myself. I have been kept safe through Oakland, SF, LA, LV, areas of Oregon, and here in Hawai‘i. Thank you.
Mahalo for reading and vaya con Dios as we go out there and minister to each other wherever we travel!