The day at the animal sanctuary was fantastic. We had our fill of koalas, kangaroos, and lots of others animals, reptiles, and creatures I cannot spell. The walking, standing, and watching had taken its toll. It has also filled us with a sense of wonder and a desire to do it again.
As we boarded the public bus to head back into town, I found myself standing behind a Japanese family. In broken English, the young mother was trying to ask the bus driver for directions. He slowed down his response to minimize the impact of his accent, while listening intensely. As she spoke in broken English and pantomime, we began to understand that she wanted to know where to get off and how far it was to walk to a river taxi pick-up.
The driver explained that he would only get within a 10-minute walk of where she needed to go. In a quiet, reassuring way, he asked her to remind him when she saw the river if he had not already spoken by then.
As I paid, he apologized for the wait.
“The delay is fine, she needed your help.”
“Yes, that is true. I am still sorry you had to wait.”
The scene slip from my mind until I saw the river and the story continued.
I could see the Mother approach the driver and leave updating the family. As the bus came to a stop, the mother, father, and young child got off, along with the bus driver.
I watched them with profound admiration. The driver pointed to the landmarks while giving a verbal commentary on his pantomime. The mother’s gentle bow of thanks expressed an intense connection I could feel from my seat.
I found myself recalling an old observation. “They left us, but they were never really with us. If they had been, they would have stuck it out with us, loyal to the end. In leaving, they showed their true colors, showed they never did belong.” (1 John 2.19)
His colors are out. #430’s driver is an unsung hero.