waiting for the bus

I had a spiritual moment as I stood waiting with other people for a bus this morning in the rain. Bus stops don’t normally provide my most inspirational thoughts but I was struck this morning with just what a diverse group we were, as we waited there. A mixture of ages, genders, races; there were several people smoking and one person obviously trying to quit – puffing on an electronic cigarette – and a very friendly Goth. But we were all at the mercy of the unpredictable Number 1 bus.
I started thinking about a story in the Bible where someone is waiting. In John chapter 5, a man who has been an invalid for 38 years is waiting by a pool with supposed healing properties. He is watching the water with the belief that if it ripples, the Spirit of God is at work and the first person who gets in will be healed. I imagine that if you have to be the first one in for this to work, he is watching the water very carefully.
This takes place in a building surrounded by columns, making lots of doorways, but the man isn’t looking for God to come through one of those. Instead, he’s staring at the water, at a place where tradition tells him God might be found.
So Jesus comes to a traditional place of healing, but goes about healing the man in his usual rule-breaking way. He comes through the unexpected entrance, heals on the wrong day and says things that annoy the religious people.
So apart from the waiting, what does this have to do with the bus stop? I guess I was thinking as we all craned our necks to look down the road to see if the late bus was finally rounding the bend, that I can be a bit like that with God. I expect God to turn up in particular ways when God might be standing right next to me or perhaps dropping down a ladder from a helicopter in the sky. (Funny what you fantasize about when your bus is late.)
With Easter just round the corner, maybe it is good for me to remember this surprising Jesus who comes through the doorway when we’re not looking, through one of the porticos by this pool or out of the entrance of the tomb or into the door of our hearts.

3 comments on “waiting for the bus

  1. Kay Huxham says:

    Funny how these things happen. I was driving to Bradford early this morning (on my own), in rather miserable weather and much worse forecast, but suddenly I spotted a deer in the middle of a field just before joining the A64. It was watching the cars pass by, and I said ‘wow what a blessing!’ and I just felt the love of God flooding powerfully over me. My spirits lifted and it changed my day.

  2. Powrful and compelling images, Karen – thank you!

  3. Lorraine Stuart says:

    So much in a few words — thank you & many blessings in your ponderings and writings.

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