I wrote this not to brag about anything but to share to you my experience and lessons learned from such. I would also like to ask you what you would do had you been in that same situation.
The bus going to Dumaguete from Bayawan was not fully occupied. I was alone, seated by the window. I find it relaxing to travel alone because it gives me the time to contemplate (one of my favorite pastimes. Haha!) and to recharge. I was enjoying the bus ride, along with the beautiful view of nature when suddenly, the bus stopped and three seemingly tipsy men got inside the bus. I think they came from a fiesta or party and were in high spirits. One of them sat beside me, the other behind me, and the third on the other side of the aisle. They were talking for a few minutes and then the man seated beside me told me that his friend who’s seated behind us wanted to get my number.
Thank God, the day before that incident, I was able to read the FB status of my friend who also underwent the same. Thus, I responded similarly. I told the guy that my favorite number was 19! Haha!
Then they laughed but still insisted on getting my number. And I kept on telling them that my favorite number was 19 and that I wouldn’t give my phone number. They kept on asking questions. Where are you headed? Where did you come from? How old are you? Do you have a husband?
Replaying the scenario on my mind makes me laugh and shake my head in disbelief. But during that moment at the bus, I was afraid, disturbed and irritated at the same time. I even don’t know whether I should tell a lie or not just to shut them up but thank God, by His grace, it didn’t come to a point wherein I had to.
Finally, the bus reached their destination and so they went off.
I went home and shared to a good friend what happened. She shared to me similar incidents that happened to her. I told her, if they asked me whether I have a boyfriend, I would have said yes and probably blurted out the name of my dad or my brother! Haha!
We thought on how you can share Christ in that situation. It’s really difficult to deal with strangers especially with men (at least for me). Then it dawned on me that one can say that his/her partner’s name is JC to mean Jesus Christ. And from there, one can start sharing with the Holy Spirit’s empowerment and leading.
But as I went home, I thought, would my response or attitude be the same had a presentable, handsome guy approached me?
Ouch! That experience exposed my heart -on how judgmental I was to them, on how selfish I was that I was much more concerned with myself, on how proud I was thinking that I shouldn’t associate with them. To put it simply, I’ve been a hypocrite. I forgot that Someone already saw me, Someone sinless yet didn’t condemn me. Instead of treating me with contempt, He welcomed me with open arms. How can I forget Someone so loving that even though He’s God, He came to earth as man to save me? How can I forget who I was before I knew Him – a sinner so full of shame and filth and was destined to die? How can I forget His heartbeat that is sinners like me?
This is indeed one big lesson for me -to look to others with compassion, just as Jesus Christ took notice of me.
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36
“Do not consider his appearance or his height for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart. “– I Sam 16:7
“Stop judging by mere appearances and make a right judgment.” – John 7:24