With the dinner shift over at the lovely Italian eatery that employs me, I pondered a moment which bus I would take home. Then my decision made, I marched the three blocks over to wait for the more frequent bus. I decided that the more, frequent bus would get me home sooner.
What I forgot about, though, was that I had also opted for the bus that carries only the most interesting types of people. You know, the ones that make you wonder which occupant swam in a pool of alcohol and other earthy smelling things. The kind that leaves you feeling like your insides have been jostled around like a can of coke.
At one point I caught a glimpse of my reflection on the window in front of me, quickly I unwrinkled my nose and tried to appear unaffected by the sensory assault. God loves the smelly people too! I silently reminded myself. I found myself taking a look around the bus, trying to see the people the way God might see them.
From the girl with the piercing on the bridge of her nose, right between her eyes, to the girl with her hair shaved off on one side of her head. For a moment I wondered if I had a piercing there, maybe my glasses wouldn’t slide down my nose so much. That thought was followed by another reminder that God loves her too, just the way she is.
I reflected for a moment about why I think the way I do. Why is it that I notice a piercing that would make my eyes go cross before I see the smile that probably melts her mother’s heart. Yes, I know I have an eye for details, but seriously, I want to notice the details that don’t make me feel so judgey. Or maybe I should just read my book, that would have been an idea!
After the bus ride was over, I stepped out into the darkness and began whispering the one prayer that I always say when walking home from the bus stop, at night, in the dark, downtown. God, please keep me safe. Because for some reason, the moment the streets get dark, and I’m alone, paranoia becomes my strongest emotion.
Anyone that crosses my path could be out to get me. Sometimes I jump at my own shadow and I hate it. Of course, I doubt that I am the only person who feels like this. Was I wired to be just a little more cautious and distrustful when the darkness surrounds me?
I like to believe that God does watch out for me and that He loves me, even when I’m smelly!