Like a week ago, I was on the bus, and there were not many people on the bus. The weather was very nice, everyone seemed relaxed and content enjoying the view outside including this person who was on the wheelchair looking a bit emaciated.
At one bus stop among a small crowd came on board a guy clearly in a real jolly mood. He sat down in front of the person in a wheelchair, and cheerfully said hi. I almost thought he knew the person since there was no sign of hesitation whatsoever in how he greeted him.
But it became clear when the person expressed his confusion, “I don’t think I know you.” The happy guy said, “Oh no, you probably don’t,” and then tried to continue what he so confidently thought would be a pleasant small talk on the bus in a beautiful sunny day.
However, the conversation didn’t go as he expected. He tried asking about his health, specifically about the person’s back since he looked pretty stiff, but the person didn’t take it well. Then the happy guy turned it into a joke, trying to lighten the mood, but now the person really took offense. Finally, the person said in a voice that implied some period of extended time of anger and bitterness, “I don’t trust you because I don’t think you’re genuine. The joke’s not on me, it’s on you.”
That was it, no more conversation. The bus became dead silent. Then everyone including myself in the bus went back into the blindfold mode that is particularly characteristic of the Canadian culture, hypnotizing and telling ourselves, “I don’t know what just happened. Better not make any scene. Just pretend nothing happened.”
Cultural stereotyping aside, what I realized from that incident was that you can’t help a person if he/she doesn’t trust you. No matter how much you want to help others, if their hearts are not open to receive help, you can’t really give it. Obviously, the same goes the other way around. You can’t receive anything if you don’t trust those who have what you need.
Then, I thought about my life. In my whole life, there is not much I can do purely by myself without any help whatsoever from others. I have a bad tendency to try to solve all my problems in life solely within my abilities and none of others. It’s my pride and ego isolating myself and keeping me in the dark and helpless. But if I think about it, indeed there is so very little that I can achieve just by my own might.
The whole earth is maintained by something. Yes, there is brokenness and evil and chaos in this world it seems, but by and large the universe is being orchestrated by order and love. It is God. He maintains it. He is in control. He will eventually make everything restored and right too.
And God is reaching out to me today. And to you. He says hello this morning again. He hops on the “bus” of our life and greets us with the most beautiful smile hoping to have a pleasant conversation. And he is not even a stranger. He created us, he is our father, he died for us out of his love, he promises total acceptance, if only we trust him.
But we must trust him. He cannot make us do that. He is gentle and personal, not authoritarian nor abstract. He has already done everything we could ask for. True love and acceptance, significance and security, intimacy and protection. Now we must open our hearts to receive it.
God is waiting for us. He has so much wonderful stuff stored for us. Not just big things like dream and career and etc., but also small details in our lives too, to make our everyday full of joy and love and happiness and thankfulness. We might as well stop trying to control everything ourselves, and lay our lives to him who is truly in control.
Then we’ll know freedom. Let us let God love us.