This morning I took a free bus ride to Orewa to return a library book (Anne Salmond’s “Tears of Rangi”, an amazing and powerful account of “experiments across worlds” in our tentative bicultural journey in this country). To take the car would cost about 90c in electricity and that seemed extravagant and unnecessary.
Waiting at the bus stop for the return trip, two of us were extravagantly blessed by a long-haired, bearded, barefoot, not very kempt fellow, who from three metres away wished us a very cordial and enthusiastic good day “following in the steps of Jesus”. When he came by again I asked him to what part of the various flocks of Jesus did he belong. “Oh, just the Jesus Way”, he said. Now, as a progressive Christian, I should have been satisfied enough to hear that.
But I still followed him onto the bus and sat beside him, leaving about 42 seats for the other three passengers. I invited him to talk a little more about his faith and way of life but there was nothing forthcoming. I ventured a few thoughts of my own but he remained non-committal. I introduced myself as a retired minister but on reflection I guess that was never likely to help.