This evening as I was filing my nails in the midst of a DIY manicure, I suddenly recalled a scene from many moons ago.
For about five years of my life, every weekday morning, I would commute to high school by two buses. One to the city centre, and then another from there to a seaside town outside of the city. I was never really a morning person, and I’d dread the sound of my Hello Kitty alarm loudly blaring “It’s a Small World After All”. Every morning was torture to get up, especially as I’d leave my home while it was still dark and return at the end of the day to an already darkened sky. Thinking about it now, I’m not sure how I managed (though to be fair, my mum helped wake the teenager me up every day).
As I was saying, mornings were a difficulty; it was not a highlight to say the least. But there was one thing I did look forward to.
On the second bus of my daily commute, there were two ladies who always stood in the queue ahead of me. As they waited, they would be chattering away, then hop on the 7:10am bus together on their way to work. The next stop after central station, another lady would get on. She would join in with the other two ladies, and the three of them always had a lively conversation. What cheered me up was seeing them greet one another. I don’t think they worked together since they’d get off at different stops, and I remember from the beginning when they didn’t know each other very well yet.
During my 5 years commuting on that bus, I witnessed these three ladies’ friendship blossom. Every Monday to Friday morning, they’d catch up from where they last left off.
I never did speak to them–why would I? An awkward teenager rarely approached ladies in their 30s or 40s.
But I’d sit somewhere within earshot and listen to what they’d talk about. And so as I was filing my nails this recent night, I remembered one of the ladies on the bus telling the others about proper nail care: her advice was to file them often to prevent chipping.
Why am I sharing this story with you?
I’m sharing it because I liked observing how three strangers on their daily commute ended up good friends. Even though it wasn’t such a long bus ride for them (maybe 15-25 minutes depending on traffic), they managed to start and develop a friendship. Their topics were not just about filing nails, but general life things, how they’re doing, what their weekend was like, the happenings at work, and even to sharing about someone in their family suffering with cancer. I could see that these three ladies valued their journey to work together because they enjoyed each others’ company.
It’s a reminder to me that I also have friends I enjoy chatting to and eagerly await a good catch up with. Even though at church things get hectic and there’s a lot of people to talk to, there can still be quality time with people. The conversations should be rich with goodness and an encouragement to each other. Something a friend once said (that I couldn’t agree more with), was that face-to-face communication is so much richer than any amount of virtual interaction.
As a church, we are a body of believers, a community of sinners, all journeying together. I am encouraged to know that I am not on this journey alone. Sure, people will get on and off of this hypothetical bus– I think of it as that friend who is only in my life for a certain season. But it’s encouraging to know that through the church we can meet different people from many walks of life and of different cultural backgrounds. It certainly does make the conversations more magnificent.
All this sparked from my filing my nails tonight. Goodness me!