April 11, 2015

The wheels on the bus go round and round

Sit with me; have some tea, it’s Jasmine, of course. I’m sorry there is no chocolate. It’s my own fault; I took every piece of cocoa joy to work and left it there. What was I thinking? Here I am bereft with nothing to offer you but fruits and vegetables…perhaps an egg on toast?

But look at the day! We can surely enjoy that: the blue sky and sapphire waters, the wind blowing loudly through the trees, the emerald grasses. Wasn’t it funny to have that quick rain pass through, so heavy and dark? Now the sun is back…well, actually, the sun never left. Such a good picture of what I want to talk to you about.

I want to tell you that suffering truly is something to rejoice in. Can you imagine circumstances that once brought fear and pain now bring laughter and wonder?

~oOo~

It was my fourth route, kindergarten to sixth grade, about 50 children. It had been a good day, my prayers for peace and safety on the bus had been answered all afternoon. Suddenly, I felt that peace leave. The children were out of control, fighting, grabbing, yelling, playing. A quick question to The One that never leaves me or forsakes me, “What are you doing, Lord? What’s going on?” 

I raised my voice to a loud roar to gain control and ordered an especially aggressive student to the front of the bus. Defiance stood immovable. Crying ensued from a little one giving Defiance her chance to accuse. She pointed her finger at me, “Look what you did! You made her cry!”

Somehow, the wheels on the bus went round and round. In that child size world yet another allusion to Defiance began to provoke a crowd of bullies. He would take no bullying as he began preaching, tattling and walking up the aisle while I drove. The noisy chaos led me to miss a turn. Fifty children erupted in screams, standing in their seats. “You missed the stop! You missed our turn!” The youngest children were afraid.

Praying, “Lord, Help Me!” I re-routed my bus to get back on course. At the next stop I asked for the name of Defiance. “You have no right to ask for my name! I’m the one being picked on! Everyone is against me! You are against me!” He pointed his 12 year-old finger in my face as he began to sob and lament. A crowd of parents gathered: the judge's spotlight pointed with shaking heads, raised eyebrows, and for all to hear, the shouts of “Johnny punched me!” “Susy pulled my hair!” “Bus driver, Bus driver, Bus driver!”

Finally, all delivered safely, I headed back to base. The superintendent and his assistant were waiting.. A parent had called in to complain that the bus driver yelled at her daughter and squeezed her arm hard as she was yanked to another seat. Through the phone the mother pointed her finger at me. There were witnesses, a crowd of children saying "Yeah, and THEN the bus driver...!"

My superiors and I went through the entire scenario. My own secret thoughts were condemning. I knew that I was stressed by the chaos, that I was angry and equally unmoved against Defiance. I knew my loud commanding voice, and my "you better or else!!" look on my face. By the end of our interview, I felt the heavy weight of my guilt. We went to view the security tape fully expecting to see the evidence of the Wicked Witch of the West yelling and abusing a young child.

May I hit the pause button?

Throughout this whole experience my soul was conversing with my Lord. "Why, Lord? Why have you left me? I had peace before, but not now. This hurts! I'm scared! I can't do this!" Could I trust God who gave me peace one minute and withdrew it the next? So wishy-washy! Lies interjected, "You didn't think he'd take care of ALL your needs did you?" Then, a still small voice, "Will you trust me?" I did not defend myself, I told the truth, then we walked in to view the tape.

Considering my internal struggle, I was shocked to find that I looked completely calm, that I did not touch a single child and in fact I was smiling kindly to several. WOW. How was that possible? Yet there was the evidence of my innocence. An internal struggle is not sin, is not guilt.

My tiny suffering that afternoon was an opportunity to see how condemnation works. I had almost believed that I had hurt a child. I was ready to take on condemnation that did not belong to me because the arguments were strong and confident.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1

Isn't that a great testimony? I am redeemed! The case was strong against me, but I am innocent, for eternity, NOT because of a videotape, but by the Blood of Jesus! It covers me, it pays the price, it is enough.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39


My Camellia Tree is in bloom!




4 comments:

  1. I am no fan of constant surveillance but God can use anything for good and truth, and He used it to tell the truth about that trial in your life...just as all will be revealed in time, and I'm thankful for the times He gives us His grace for protection when we do fail. :) Beautiful flowers!

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  2. Yes, I'm with you on the surveillance, but it is protection for both the driver and students. But before an all seeing, all knowing God who can stand? Amazing grace, how sweet the sound! Good to hear from you, Susan. How are you dear one?

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    1. hi Laura, with spring around the corner I'm keeping busy with planting/caring for seeds and spring cleaning! I see some little bulbs beginning to peep out of the ground! I'm so excited. I planted tulips, crocuses and daffodils last fall and beginning to reap the rewards...I love bulb flowers. I still occasionally look at a friend's blog who says she was a Christian but now is quite vocal about not believing in Jesus...and seems to be "evangelizing" for the enemy, trying to convince others to give up and join her, that you can enjoy life so much more without the unnecessary guilt.....I keep saying I need to let her go, because I get so upset, but then I think I shouldn't give up, maybe not converse with her but just keep her in prayer....other than that, things are good, flowers and springtime are good for cheering me up :) Do you still see Mr. Santos often? Are you still on good speaking terms? I think about you and your beautiful family often and it just makes me incredulous that He would leave like that...has he ever given his reasons? I think you and the children are so beautiful that he would throw away such treasures.....sending hugs your way, I so wish I could stop by for tea :)

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    2. we used to have a U-pick farm where we sold daffodils. That was an idyllic time for the kids: running through the sunny rows. Red tulips are my favorite.

      Our weapons of warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds. Do not grow weary in well doing for in due season you shall reap. It's hard to keep praying for someone who seems to have decided which way they want to go. God is patient. He always invites,doesn't force.

      Mr. Santos did not leave us. If anything, I left him to begin a process of healing. Our conflicts have been hard since day one, but my faith has been our most painful difference. He loves his children deeply and continues to connect with them regularly. God bless you, friend. Thanks for keeping in touch.

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Thank you for your kind comments. I love visiting with you and I hope you come again.