Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The Bus Driver
In the structure of churches of all faiths, ministries are a vital part of how they continue to function. Depending on the faith, it can have a welcoming, social, Eucharist, and youth ministry. The church I attended as a child had a ministry that was vital to my attending every Sunday and the one week in the summer for Vacation Bible School. This was the church bus ministry.
I don’t know if this was the official name. I also didn’t know what all it entailed. Maintenance and payment of gas were probably a big part, but as a grade school girl, none of this was relevant to me. Mrs. Fields played the role that was so very important. Every Sunday morning, she woke up early, prepared her children, and the bus to begin their journey. She drove around town and out into the countryside to pick all of us up. I believe her service first thing in the morning was a nicety for some families. They sent their children to Sunday school and followed later for church services. My parents didn’t attend church, so the bus was my only option.
For me, I woke myself up and prepared for my mornings with God. I waited patiently at the kitchen window until the yellow bus showed up at the end of my driveway and the horn blew. If the weather was nice, I waited outside. This journey took me to learn about Jesus and his followers and grow friendships of faith with my fellow students. At church I would sit by an elderly couple who were cousins to my grandmother or a family would take me in and let me sit with them. At the end of church, I got on the bus once again for my ride home.
I didn’t always appreciate Mrs. Fields. She was a strange lady. Though we didn’t have much money growing up, her family had less which scared me. As I entered those terrible junior high school years, I looked down on her lack of worldly goods. At the time, I lacked in spiritual goods. She could also be very mean if we misbehaved. However, she did let us sit at the back of the bus when we were good and we could bounce on the seat. One day we hit a bump in the road and the two of us in the seat hit the bounce just right. We flew through the air, cushion and all. A bump on my head resulted and much concern from Mrs. Fields.
Years have passed since those days long gone. She played a critical part in my early journey to holiness through her service to our small little church by working on her journey to holiness driving an old yellow bus. I pray for her now whether still with us on earth or making her way through heaven.
Who played a role in your early faith development? Offer up a prayer for them.
Blessing to you all.