Bus Stop Love
I will never forget it – as I turned the corner each morning at 7:00 am there she stood. It was a corner bus stop that stood out and she was very visible. There she was every morning, with her three children. It didn’t matter if it was summer or winter, 20 below or 20 above, the young mother was there with her family. She quietly got on the bus with her children. They were well behaved. I picked them up on the West Hill and would drop them off on the East Hill (Belleville is divided by the Moira River into the East and West Hill areas). Come 7:00 pm, I would pick them again up, at the same spot, and drop them off at the West Hill. I often wondered what went through this young mom’s mind. She was a very reserved lady and I really didn’t get to know her, but her actions I have never forgotten – she made a real impact on my life.
I believe God providentially placed me driving a city bus because He wanted to teach me, to prepare me for ministry. He wanted to open my heart to people that were struggling and show me a different side of life. I made so many good friends over the years and meet so many courageous and gracious people; it was really phenomenal. It paid the bills but it did much more than that – it transformed me.
When I think of love this Valentines week of 2021, I think of this woman. I believe the greatest way to grasp love is to see it demonstrated. This lady's life taught me so much about God’s love – God’s unconditional love – God’s agape love. Sometimes we can get caught up in the jargon and language of love. It sounds very good but in reality love, Biblical love, is a verb. We can get a better grasp of it when we see it demonstrated. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10 NIV). Jesus was and is the greatest demonstration of what love is all about.
That lady, so many years ago, demonstrated to me that love was about commitment. She was committed to her kids in both getting them to childcare, but also to working, to provide for their wellbeing. That lady taught me about sacrifice. She taught me that true love often times is sacrificial. It costs.
She also taught me that true love is not often very pretty by worldly standards. There was no one there praising her; there was no one there giving her trophies or putting her name up in lights. She quietly served like Jesus. This young mom taught me about endurance. Love is hanging in, often when the way seems rough and dim. It is letting God, like the poem, Footprints says, sometimes carry us.
Finally this marvellous person taught me that love is powerful. Like many of our moms, grandmothers, wives, daughters, and special women in our lives, we see God’s grace demonstrated in how they support us unconditionally through great personal challenge and sacrifice. That love changes our lives, transforms our lives, and molds our lives. It is a gift that can never be replaced.
I want to close with the words of the late Henry Drummond who wrote extensively on love. He was a close friend of D.L. Moody. Drummond once stated, ““It is the man who is the missionary, it is not his words. His character is his message.”
This Valentine’s Day of 2021, let us give thanks to all who have lived love before us. Take the time to share God’s love with them. May your day be blessed with love.
Happy Valentine’s Day – Love, Pastor Ralph