I took the bus to work on Thursday morning. It is true that taking the Metro is so much easier. I live less than two blocks from the Columbia Heights Metro stop, and the church is only about three blocks from the Mount Vernon Square Metro stop. Taking the Metro is quick and easy. Taking the bus is a different story.
The bus can take twice as long as the Metro. The bus drops me five blocks from the church instead of three. The bus forces me to practice my balance as I have to stand up as it starts and stops during rush hour traffic. Still, I took the bus. I took the bus because I always learn something on the bus.
The bus reminds me of the rich diversity of Washington as it moves from the upper parts of 14th Street to downtown Washington. The bus forces my eyes to gaze upon things that I could easily avoid if I were below ground on the Metro -- like the incredible children who play at a ministry called Martha's Table, making me question why so many children have more than they could ever use while these children have so little. The bus forces me to see how so much of our city is still divided by the lines of color as not very many white people step on board until the bus gets closer to downtown. The bus forces me to see the homeless -- people who are not allowed to dwell inside Metro stops, motivating me to examine what all I have. And while the journey on the bus takes twice as long as it takes for the Metro to arrive at my final destination, I am almost always glad that I chose to take the bus.
Scripture shows us how Jesus rarely took a direct route. More often than not, Jesus took the long way to wherever he was going. He went into villages that he could have easily avoided. He took the one lane roads instead of the multi lane interstate. And it is by taking the road less traveled, the less efficient route, that Jesus saw the people who needed to be touched by his love and told about a different kind of kingdom.
I'll see you on the bus.