I have no photo this time. My Night Bus friend was worried that his girlfrind would see a photo of him up somewhere other than facebook, where he refuses to have his photo posted. I did not press the issue.
It was very late, or early, depending on which way you view the hour. Camberwell Green was well lit and my bus was refusing to appear from the gloaming. Three N35s came and went, all full, all going to Clapham Junction. “What the hell is in Clapham Junction?” I and the 2 other guys at the bus stopped laughed. You gotta laugh, right? Especially when you’re cold, tired and your bus won’t come.
Only one of my new companions got on the same bus as me and we took our new-found conviviality to the top deck. We got chatting and in the course of conversation I talked a little of commuting, of whether it is a thing or a place or a way of being that can ever reflect the Kingdom of God.
That phrase: The Kingdom of God, got Sahil thinking. He said to me, “You know that phrase ‘active listening’ rather than ‘passive listening’ where you’re just waiting to say your next thing, I think I was doing that. Say it again.” And so I did.
He got more engaged in the conversation at that point and told me that in the Ethiopian bible, in the equivalent book of Genesis, it says:
And so God made all of creation and is known through his creation.
Now, I have not had a chance to look this up yet, but I don’t think I want to. It’s too simple and beautiful as it was said. At this point we were approaching my stop and so I had to take my leave, but both I and Sahil left that conversation and left that night bus having felt challenged and inspired.
It is moments like that, when a commuter sheds the closed-off face and the isolating tools of the trade – book, iPod, attitude – that we might imagine God could be seen through his creation. That the night bus is worth riding.