Often only in my head, but it’s still true. One of the things I dislike about my location (there are a few things, though not many) is the bus-wide conversations that happen. Not, mind you, a conversation that includes all or many of my fellow riders, but a conversation between two people who are sitting far apart from one another on the bus. (Why can’t you simply relocate??) It happens a lot. Because the bus routes I take go past the Sponsors locations, there is often a lot of bus-wide conversation about recovery, which almost always leads to religious conversations. This is where I admit to being an asshole, at least in my thoughts.
I resent having to hear bus-wide conversations about being saved, about finding Jesus, about coming to God. It’s annoying, it’s uncomfortable (dude, these are private conversations you are sharing with the whole bus!!), and, most annoyingly of all, it’s loud. I’ve gotten used to it enough that so long as I keep music playing on my phone, I can just deal with it. But as soon as I hear certain catch-phrases, “the Lord,” “found Jesus”, I can’t help it. I mentally roll my eyes and indulge in a moment of resenting the religious majority and the obliviousness they are allowed to have.
There was one such conversation that happened last week. It wasn’t bus-wide, but it was right behind me, and I didn’t want to deal with it. I cranked up my music (Magdalena by APC) and tried to not listen, but I only have one working ear bud right now, so I caught snippets. For which I was resentful.
Until I heard the one guy encouragingly share with this bus-mate that, since having found his Lord, he wakes up with hopes and dreams, rather than wanting to eat a bullet.
And I realized all over again that sometimes? Sometimes I’m an asshole.
Compassion as I strive to embody it is not simply for my fellow pagans. It’s not simply for the religious minorities. I know nothing beyond what people choose to share, and life can utterly suck sometimes — often times, for a lot of people. All the time, for some. It’s not my place to take from them what builds them up. It’s not my place to ridicule what sustains them — not even in my own head where they’ll never see or know.