I don’t much care for riding buses.
There was one year of my life when i rode one every day to school –
my peers and I bused, with the 6th graders in my city,
to an historic old building in a crumbling part of town.
What I remember most was the bus ride.
Having only ever walked to school before, it was an uneasy adventure.
I loved the sense of going the same somewhere as everybody else,
always having craved community and it came built in this way – we were a little tribe.
I liked that.
But there was the whole being driven thing. Going along because I was going along.
I wanted to belong but I also wanted freedom
and felt much freer putting my feet to sidewalk and taking it all at my own pace and pleasure.
Often I joined in enthusiastic with the hullabaloo at the back of the bus,
loving the camaraderie,
but I hated it when someone was cruel,
taunting passers-by or a more vulnerable rider.
(usually the older-looking boys disrespecting a slower-grower).
It felt oppressive then to be “us” but not really.
Since then I’ve avoided buses.
and, to my sadness, much of our country seems more and more
to be filing crowded onto two of them.
There are dearly loved ones of mine embracing both sides, those I hear and respect,
but when I step inside each I feel crimped tight for air
and the sound bruises my sky-loving heart.
I love my country and her people.
I hunger and pray for a world where no one turns a deaf ear to any being in distress.
The Horton in me hears the Who’s of us and I wear my sleeves rolled up
to help create a place where we’re all welcome and safe to be.
I’m pro voice.
Even as the disrespect being voiced on both buses rakes sharp across my senses
and injures something inside, I love the voices still.
But much of the rhetoric being hurled scalds my tender, listening parts
and I have to pull aside to hear the whispers above the roar.
It’s what I’m seeing through the smoke that gives me hope,
that winds of healing are coming,
releasing healers who will step across party lines and release love into the fray.
Healers, budding now, like a field of wildflowers getting ready to sing.
Those deeply wounded by racism, by exclusion, by rejection and indifference
and misogyny and injustice…….these will the healers be.
The ones who have felt wicked the pain are the ones who seem to carry the medicine
once life gets some healing done.
The healers are being made even by the judgement being hurled at them now.
From both buses they’ll come, those who bring the balm that creates the change.
Not blinded to context or played by their pain,
with a billion different faces of the unseen authority they’ve gained
to go into crisis and confusion and bridge division and bring solution.
They’ll release truth and kindness in a way that holds weight and shifts invisible things,
won’t hold in contempt or make assumptions from across the aisles
but will listen unfiltered and draw up solution from deep wells of grace.
I’ll hold this hope gentle-strong as these next days unfold,
trusting that each unkind voice will become one that helps heal us someday.
To both buses and also to those of us that walk a little on the out,
may there come wild surprise by the grace outstretched from each side
to bring healing to We the People,
each of us becoming conduits of generosity and justice
in ways that we don’t yet even dare to see.
I believe our best days are out in front of us still,
that we won’t mock or condescend to get there.
Grace to you wherever you are,
exactly as you are.
With the whole of my you-loving heart:)
“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image
when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
– Anne Lamott