The Bus Test

The Bus Test

I stood on the crowded bus, heart pounding and feeling flushed. I had read somewhere that a pregnant woman at rest is in effect working harder than the average person climbing a mountain. But that wasn’t the reason for my rapid heart rate and the resultant “glow.”

I was fuming. Here I was, over seven months pregnant, and no one offered me and my prominent belly their seat. I had been one of the last people to board the bus because nearly everyone else had pushed ahead to secure themselves a seat.

I had been involved in volunteer work in that Asian country for a few years. After a long day at a program for the underprivileged, the only transport available was a city bus, stuffy and packed with commuters. I could understand their end-of-the-workday weariness, but not their lack of common courtesy. Who wouldn’t offer a pregnant woman a seat? I stood there huffing to myself until I reached my destination.

The next day, I voiced my annoyance to a coworker. She sympathized and shared a few of her own experiences of having to deal with rude fellow passengers on buses. Back and forth we went about the lack of manners and consideration we sometimes encounter.

My husband listened silently for a few minutes, and then offered a few words of his own, which helped put things in perspective. “We want to make a difference with our projects and programs. The real test of our love, though, is the buses.”

He was right. I dedicate much of my time to helping others, but here I was, in the comfort of my own home, surrounded by all that I need, being critical of those same people. Who qualifies for my love and empathy? Only those who exhibit certain social graces that I consider elementary?

Sometimes it is healthy to travel on a hot, crowded bus, to see and feel the things that others face on a daily basis, to remember how blessed I am, and to be reminded that everyone needs and deserves love, respect, and consideration.

Be slow—Be quick!
Be slow to suspect—quick to trust;
Slow to condemn—quick to justify;
Slow to offend—quick to defend;
Slow to expose—quick to shield;
Slow to belittle—quick to appreciate;
Slow to demand—quick to give;
Slow to provoke—quick to help;
Slow to resent—quick to forgive.
—Author unknown

Titus 2:7 ESV – Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity.

2 Corinthians 2:17 ESV – For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

Philippians 1:10 ESV – So that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.


  1. May 13, 2016, 5:40 am   /  Reply

    Thank you! Very helpful & enlightened your words are, God bless you, Joyce

  2. Deanna Lynn
    May 11, 2018, 8:23 pm   /  Reply

    In Chitzen Itza the buses are so crowded with people & hot, and sweaty no room not for even an elderly person heartbreaking! You learn quickly to appreciate & love what you have back home to embrace each precious soul on that bus that is traveling helping you to realize what you have, and what you’ve been taking for granted. Thank you God my Universe for showing me gifts right before my eyes & what I truly have!

  3. Audrey
    May 12, 2018, 8:47 am   /  Reply

    I love & apprecite the narrative of
    Respecting self & others. Putting yourself in their place realizing what it is like for them to experience daily
    interactions with those folks, you learn to deal with the situations with
    better understanding & stop complaining when you realize how
    Blessed we are.

  4. Jeri
    May 13, 2018, 3:34 am   /  Reply

    I been in her shoes before.

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